If you’re a parent, you definitely want to raise a mentally strong child. The world isn’t all rainbows and butterflies — there are situations where your child would have to stand up for himself and be his own person. It’s not always possible to be there every minute of our child’s life. But helping them overcome obstacles that they may eventually face in life can equip them with the skills needed to build mental strength.
At a young age, it is crucial to teach your child how to overcome their fears, learn from mistakes, solve problems, and navigate their surroundings without giving up easily. All of these are important pillars to achieving mental toughness. Read on to learn more.
It’s normal for children to have a lot of fears. More often than not, however, these fears are irrational. There may not even be any imminent threat or danger to your child’s life, but because they are sensitive to these situations, they may not know how to handle them effectively.
While you may want to protect your child from what they fear, finding the right balance between validating their feelings and helping them overcome this emotion is recommended.
Let’s say for example your child has a fear of the dark. Don’t invalidate them by saying they’re overreacting — instead, try to explain to them that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Start with small acts, like encouraging them to sleep with the lights off, or going to the bathroom on their own in the middle of the night. The idea is to guide your child to overcome the fear. Work on it by taking simple steps until they’re able to have enough confidence to face their fears head-on.
Many people say that experience is the best teacher — people make mistakes and learn from them so that they won’t be in the same situation in the future. Instead, they come out stronger than ever and better prepared to approach the issue.
As early as now, you have to impress in your child’s mind that making mistakes is a part of life. There’s no such thing as perfection, but your child can definitely work their way towards it.
If your child is starting out biking, for example, tell them that it’s normal not to get it right the first time. Your child will fail and might have bumps and bruises — but this will serve as a learning opportunity for them to follow the right technique. Doing this is a great way to allow your child to realize that mistakes shouldn’t be avoided, but rather to be benefitted from, to become mentally stronger.
When a child is sheltered, their parents may not have been able to introduce them to new experiences. They might be too afraid of the world and unwilling to interact with other individuals. Instead, they prefer to stay in their own bubble and enjoy the comfort of solitude.
However, sheltering your child from the world may also make them feel more sensitive to negativities. To prevent this from happening, try to be proactive in letting your child experience new things. Let them play with other kids in the park or join groups and activities that they otherwise wouldn’t. In this way, you’re giving them the chance to trust themselves when it comes to dealing with other people and handling difficult situations.
Many parents may associate discipline with something negative, but if done correctly, this can become an effective way of teaching your child all the ways to become stronger, mentally.
Don’t tolerate behavior from your child that may disrespect their peers. For example, if they physically hurt someone, discipline them by taking away a privilege or explicitly telling them that harming another person is wrong.
The point of discipline should not be to embarrass your child, but rather to teach them important life lessons. Think about it: When they eventually grow up and work in an office setting, they will also be disciplined and chided by other people around them. Giving them a head start in their childhood not only teaches them kindness and humility, but also the strength to not be affected so much about what other people say to them.
You may not know the first thing about how to raise a mentally strong child, but you shouldn’t lose hope. There are some simple things that you can do that will have a great positive impact on your child’s development.
In this guide, you’ve learned to do four things: helping your child overcome their fears, allowing them to learn from their mistakes, introducing them to new experiences, and disciplining them. Take them to heart and your child may already be on the way to become a mentally strong person.