How do you raise resilient kids in today’s uncertain world? It seems like our generation has a lot more to worry about compared to when our parents were raising us, doesn’t it? Between bullying, tech overload, and a world in constant turmoil, it seems like our kids are facing challenges that go way beyond what we dealt with as children. Today, our special guest, Sarah Morgan, is sharing some parenting tips that will help you raise kids that can handle just about any situation.
Parenting Tips for Raising Resilient Kids in an Uncertain World
by Sarah Morgan
Kids are complex creatures, and growing up in our society isn’t easy either. We as parents are more protective now than ever before. You and I are the generation of parents that would rather take the fall than to see our child in pain. We try to cushion them from the harsh world and do everything to be sure that they are comfortable, yet more and more kids nowadays suffer from anxiety and deviant behavior as compared to our generation. Are we doing the right thing to make our child grow up as resilient adults? Or maybe we are doing this parenting thing backward?
A Child’s Struggles
Being a kid nowadays isn’t easy. Peer pressure begins as early as the first grade, and it doesn’t stop up to college. Just like how excelling in studies can likely mark you as a nerd; standing out from the crowd can make a kid fall prey to bullies. Gone are the days when small kids can let loose and play all day around the neighborhood. As we never know what lurks behind the street corner, parents nowadays would rather shelter their children and let them play at home. Kids are now bombarded with hyper cartoons, fast internet, and sedentary games. In between weekend sports activity, music lessons, and tutorial classes; youngsters are also required to fit into their parents’ expectations. The question is: are we molding them to be happy and well-adjusted adults? Or perhaps, are most of us doing the opposite?
How to try to Raise Resilient Kids
In between juggling our time with our jobs, maintaining our sanity, balancing the budget and paying up the bills; we also have our children to look after. We are not perfect parents, true enough. However, we can always do better, here’s how:
Begin by acknowledging that each child is unique
A child’s personality appears as early as they start crawling. To an extent you can teach them, but they are their own person. Parenting styles and expectations must be customized for every child. We already know that there are various types of intelligence, yet there are also different types of temperament. You can always read parenting books and ask for opinions, but what worked well for another child might not work with your kid. Too lenient and indulgent and your baby might grow without self-control. Likewise, if you are too strict and have high standards, your child can become anxious. Insight is needed for a parent to fine tune that thin line between imposing control and teaching independence.
- Flexibility is the key
There is no such thing as an annual “Best Parents Award.” Try not to set your standards too high, or else your child will falter. It’s alright to set your child some goals and to make them strive to be better. Our fault lies in telling them that they are the best because this isn’t true. We parents must acknowledge their limitations. Kids might not be good at everything yet surely; they can be good at something. Parenting is not just about molding your kid to be a better version of yourself; they are not you. The thing that matters as a parent is to be able to show your love without conditions.
Let your child take responsibility by being responsible yourself
Children learn not just through our words but more on through our actions. Lead by example by being a responsible adult yourself. As parents, we encounter good days and bad days; pick yourself up and show your child what resilience is all about. Something might not go well at work or on the way home, accept that. It’s alright to be disappointed, but don’t vent it out and raise your voice. It’s OK to be angry but don’t turn on your child. Counter a bad day with good humor, a warm meal, and some hearty hugs. Show your child that the world can be cruel sometimes, yet there is always a way to look at it in a positive light.
Let your kid fail
In a child’s life, it’s alright to take a little risk and to get wounded or fail at first try. Allow your child to voice out their opinion with regards to an activity. It’s either he/she abhor music, sports or a subject; acknowledge it and just let it be. Do not reprimand him if ever he is not the best or if he cannot live up to your expectations. Take note to reward not the results but the effort expended. Your child cannot accomplish them all, so emphasize on one thing that he is good at, and let him develop that.
Teach optimism by practicing daily gratitude. With other adults, you can always complain about all the wrong things, yet when you are with your child, emphasize appreciation. Express gratitude by being sincerely nice to all and by being compassionate to those less fortunate. An excellent way to raise kids who are not self-indulgent is to expose them to the plight of other kids. You can also teach them how to save up instead of buying an expensive toy and how to give small gifts to make people smile. This way you can emphasize early the difference between needs versus wants as well as the virtue of serving others and delaying gratification.
Parenthood is not a contest but a journey. Even if your child is born as a winner of life’s lottery by being a prodigy; he will always have his own shortcomings, reservations, and limitations. Our children’s life goals must not just be to get the highest grades, to make the most money or to drive the fastest car. Living in that mentality is like being immersed in a limiting dog-eat-dog mentality. Life is not a competition. What matters is a life lived well and your love well-expressed.
About the author: Sarah Morgan. A sister, a daughter, a wife, but most especially a mother. Being a mother makes me realize that life is a great adventure. No day is always the same, which makes every day so much more exciting. You can find here at wellbeingkid.com.