We want our kids to feel good about themselves, so it is natural to try to remove obstacles along the way. Here’s the rub: If we are always trying to solve their problems they will not develop the ability to fight their own battles, accept when they are wrong and learn to move on. Jenn Berman, Psy.D. says “Handling stress or disappointments, admitting mistakes, and changing direction are some of the most crucial skills for living a happy life. The only way to master them is through practice.”

When your child complains that he can’t do something like finish a puzzle or put on his sneakers, do not try to convince him that he can. As grueling as it may be, show patience and say “That’s okay. There is no hurry. Next time you wants to try again, let me know.” Whether it is a few minutes or a few days later, he will probably come back to the task at hand. If he gets aggravated and starts to yell, it’s a good time to say, “I understand it is frustrating, but it is not okay to scream.”

Advertisements