As parents we always want to protect our children from failure or prevent unhappiness. The mind-set of always protecting our children when he or she is for example having a difficulty in doing homework, learning a new skill or playing a game will not really build our children’s self-confidence and resilience.
Young children are discovering their skills and talents and along the way, they will experience times when they just want to give up and/or feel unhappy.
Look closely for the many opportunities to teach your child this valuable life-long lesson. You can look out for these teachable moments closely and observe your child’s patterns of behaviour.
When you notice your child crying and saying for example “I don’t like this” or “I can’t do it” allow your child to hear you lavish words of encouragement and positive talk. You can echo to him or her “I see you are crying and having a hard time. I am here watching you trying again and this time I’m sure it will be less hard, don’t worry. Keep trying. You’ll get there. I am happy you are trying hard. Good job!”.
Pointing out your child’s efforts in being resilient, patient and determined will in fact help him or her to learn that it is okay not to get it right the first time and with practice he or she will slowly but surely get there.
When your child realises that you believe in him or her despite his or her own negative patterns of behaviour, your child will ultimately succeed as he or she needs to believe in his or her own success. This is a powerful life-long lesson that we as parents often forget to acknowledge as we are caught up with the end goal and dismiss the importance of the process of learning something new in school or at home.
Every child’s pattern of behaviour and response to failure is different. From temper tantrums, to crying and easily giving up or refusing to continue with the activity, it is very important to not give in to him or her. Instead help your child to want to try it out slowly a little bit by bit.
Ultimately, we as parents are happy when we hear our children tell us “I won’t give up, I’ll keep trying” as we helped them want to try.
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