Just recently, a student was rejected by an international summer camp organization despite the academic qualification the child holds because he had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He was feeling depressed and disappointed then because of that.
However, with the word of moral support and self assurance by the parent towards her child, it can make a real difference as the parent did the right thing to help her child cope with a difficult situation such as this.
Many times, parents are caught unprepared to deal with their children frustrations and problems in life.
This holds true for many parents so that instead of helping, they end up either aggravating to the problem or feeling helpless themselves. What can we do to help children overcome with challenging life situations? The following suggestion may help:
*** Remind your child that nothing is permanent in this world and that such a situation will soon to pass. Children often don’t have enough experiences to reckon with when something bad happens.
When a child fails to make it in a certain event or a sport team i.e. basketball or when some peers of his, don’t want him to be with them, let him understand that it is not the end of the world.
When the child believes that failing in one activity will ruin his entire life that will stop him from trying again. Teach your child how to look forward to a better future by explaining to him that everyone goes through some hard times which is the normal process of life but one thing is sure that good things never run out for people who keep trying.
*** Promote problem solving to empower them. Research on resilience points to the importance of problem solving skills. This shows that action is the best antidote for feeling helpless.
Help your child inculcate a “can do” attitude to himself and this can mold him into a better person with a positive outlook in life. Most parents want to protect their children from stress and sadness to the extent of placing this burden upon themselves.
When a problem occurs, it is always easy for parents to jump in and solve their child’s problem without giving him the chance to discover within his power to solve it and make the difference. Give your child a chance to tap his own ability to handle real problem situations, unless the problem is obviously beyond his capacity.
*** Know when to intervene. Keep in mind that not all problems can easily be resolved, there are instances that you have to offer guidance. You have to be transparent with your child and encouraged him for openness. Share your own experiences in handling similar problems and allow him to think and share his own ideas. Try to give him the best possible answer you can give for his every question.
*** Set reasonable boundaries. Research shows, that children with parents who set fair rules, give a clear cut explanation for their rules and consistently enforce them, end up with higher motivation, better social skills and greater self reliance than children with parents either too lax or too authoritarian about their rules.
Make your child responsible enough by assigning him with household tasks or other things that you believe he can be made productive and within his capability. At home or at school, children may be asked to do some errands, lead a group of younger siblings or classmates in performing certain activities.
*** Personal achievement for the child. Help your child find his passions and interests in life to encourage him to accomplish things. Allowing him to join some extracurricular activities in school would help.
Success even in small things can inspire children to strive harder and develop some sense of pride and self esteem that can motivate them to handle bigger tasks and responsibilities.
Unless parents are well equipped with the knowledge on how to properly handle difficult life situations, all they can transfer to their children would be their own fears and insecurities, false beliefs and crooked values.
Behind every successful,psychologically and spiritually healthy child are parents who know the intricacies of coping with different challenges in life and the wisdom to know the importance of leaving the same as legacy to the younger generation.