Have you heard the phrase “helicopter parent?” It describes a mother or father that ‘hovers’ around their child frequently. There is a tendency for the parent to oversee what’s going on with the child or children to keep them from potential danger, any pitfalls and mishaps or preventing natural developmental learning experiences. It looks good on paper, but this kind of parenting does not account for one important fact of reality: life happens.
Adversity happens to everyone. In fact, it is from our adverse experiences that can learn and grow. Those children who experience appropriate adversity in their formative years learn how to handle situations and emotions more effectively and develop coping strategies and solutions. Children who have addressed adversity have learned how to be resilient, they are more prepared for getting right back up when life knocks them down.
Here are some helpful ways parents can raise resilient children:
Plant the Right Mindset
How your child views the world and their own potential, directly informs how they make decisions. Teach them how to have a positive and empowering mindset from the beginning. Educate them about failure and how failure is a part of the growth process and a fundamental learning experience. Failing grades and losing games aren’t the end of the world, though they may feel like it. What really matters is the understanding they have about a situation. Teach your children how to view the world as glass-half-full when their instinct may be to see the world as glass half-empty. The seeds we plant about how they view their experiences will determine how they manage adversities later in life.
Do Not Meet Their Every Need
A child will never be able to develop their own coping strategies if someone is there every second making sure they never become hurt or disappointed. Do your best to NOT overprotect your children and give them some space to figure it out all on their own. Children benefit from understanding that they must learn to problem solve. Not meeting their every need allows children the opportunity to figure out alternatives they would not create if they received their every wish.
Help Your Children Connect
Children who are socially connected to others feel a sense of support and belonging. Authentic relationships provide a safe space and provides a person for your child to talk to about their feelings. When your child has friends and connections within their peer group, they learn naturally from their friends. Being social is a natural part of their emotional development, and by helping your children have social connections, you are helping them become well-rounded.
Let Them Take Some Risks
All parents want to keep their children safe, but it is important to allow your children the opportunity to explore and take risks in learning to assist their curious minds and self-exploration. You can introduce children to a myriad of interests and allow them to discover and play in what draws their interest. The risks that you allow your children to take are done so in the vein to teach them how to not live in fear. Letting them take risks also allows the parent to get comfortable with your children making some independent choices.
If you are struggling with letting your children have appropriate self-exploration, give us a call today, we can help you get your relationship back on track.