Other than raising a happy child, another thing that I want for my son is to help him grow into a mentally strong kid. It’s not that I don’t want him to cry or feel upset; it’s just that I know that it will affect other aspects, too, positively.
Also, my intention is to help my son acknowledge his emotions and release them in the healthiest ways possible -- and that involves crying. I know that some people would find it funny to see a boy cry but for me, it takes courage to express what you truly feel instead of pretending to be the other way around.
In addition, focusing on mental strength helps the kid to resolve problems or overcome failure. It’s not about suppressing sadness or other emotions; it’s about recognizing it and using it to bounce back after a fall.
But like other things, raising a mentally strong child takes time, patience, and a lot of determination. It’s not easy as it requires us to avoid unhealthy parenting practices but I tell, it is worth it.
So, if you’re ready to take the challenge, here are some strategies that will help your kid develop mental strength:
Allow Your Child To Make Mistakes
Mistakes are bound to happen anytime, even if we don’t want to. Even us adults make mistakes once in a while (or all the time) so it’s just fair to let the little ones commit mistakes, too.
Instead of getting upset easily, let the kid understand that mistakes are normal; that it’s an important part of the learning process.
Also, if it’s safe to do so, allow natural consequences to take place. For instance, if your kid likes staying up late at night, then let him. The natural consequences would be: they’ll find it hard to wake up in the morning and that they’ll feel tired even if they slept the whole day.
Implement Specific Skills
After making a mistake and allowing your child to understand the consequences, teach your kids how to become better next time. These skills involve impulse control, self-discipline, and problem-solving.
These are not only beneficial for kids but also for everyone who wants to react positively when facing a different situation, temptation, and/or failure.
Motivate Your Child To Face Fears
When you’re a kid and you’re almost new to anything, almost every single thing is scary. Therefore, as parents, we should guide our children to face their fears head-on.
For instance, my son feels overwhelmed by meeting new people or even our own relatives. He either hides on my back or under my skirt (literally). As a mom, what I do is carry him and let him meet family member’s one by one. I’m not an expert when it comes to socialization but I know that this helps him overcome his fear one small step at a time.
Also, when I feel like he’s just shy (and not terrified), I ask him to shake hands or mano (Filipino gesture that shows respect) and afterward, praise him for doing so. Sooner, he’ll be able to do these things (and other things) on his own.
Encourage Kids To Step Out Of Comfort Zone
In line with the statement above, it’s ideal for us parents to encourage our little ones to step out of their comfort zone. Lucky for us, there are many ways to do this now.
For example, if your kid is not used to going out or playing with kids, you can enroll them in a summer camp or any programs that offer after-school activities. You can even visit indoor playgrounds and let them socialize with other kids.
Provide Age-Appropriate Responsibilities
Giving children a responsibility, such as age-appropriate household chores, sounds like a crime but in my opinion, it’s not.
As much as we wanted to give them a childhood that’s full of fun and play, helping them become responsible adults also contributes to mental strength.
Instill Personal Responsibility
As early as now, it’s crucial for a child to understand personal responsibility, and that means helping them realize that they are accountable for their own actions.
When a child misbehaves or makes mistakes, allow them to explain what happened -- but not make excuses. Listen first but explain to them that it’s not right to blame others for their actions.
Prioritize Being Grateful
Every day, teach your kids how to be grateful for all the things that they have, such as food, shelter, and the people they have. This is a powerful way to tell them that there are many things to be thankful about no matter how bad their day is.
Gratitude can bring out your child’s potential, instill positive thinking, and develop problem-solving.
Set Yourself As A Good Example
We can teach our kids to become mentally strong all day but unless we set ourselves as an example, it’s almost useless. As parents, we should be a role model for our kids by showing them how to be mentally strong.
This means continuously doing self-improvements and prioritizing mental health on yourself.
Do you agree with this? What other strategies do you have to raise a mentally strong kid? Feel free to share your thoughts in our community or in the comment box below.
Also, don’t forget to share this post because sharing is caring.
Thanks and happy parenting!