We should all want to raise kids who are resilient and able to bounce back from disappointment relatively quickly. Think of your kids like rubber bands that snap back to their original form after being stretched. We sort of want our kids to be like that, right? So why is it that we are raising a generation of kids who get disappointed so easily and who are developing anxiety issues at such a high rate? Let me tell you why:
1. We fix too many situations for our kids, so they never learn how to deal with frustration and disappointment on their own.
2. We intervene before giving our kids an opportunity to handle things on their own.
3. We focus on achievement and performance excessively.
4. We compare our kids to one another.
5. Sometimes we forget that we are dealing with children, not adults.
I have some ideas about how we can raise more resilient kids who are able to bounce back from disappointments more easily:
1. Teach kids the importance of retaining a playful spirit. This is a key ingredient in the recipe of raising strong kids.
2. Explain to kids that is fine to fail at times. We learn from our failures and we even develop some humility.
3. Instead of encouraging our kids to be popular, we can encourage them instead to have a few good and solid friends who will see them through happy moments and stressful moments.
4. Teach them to use humor; to laugh at themselves. Humor is a great stress reliever.
5. Teach them to be flexible. Flexible individuals handle tricky situations better because they are able to reach into a toolbox full of all kinds of behaviors. These behaviors include serious, silly, assertive, quiet, being engaging and knowing when to be non-engaging.
Good luck, and I hope I didn’t offend anyone by comparing our kids to rubber bands.