How to help your kids through tough times
There are two key words that will always help them majorly during tough times..
It’s a tough world out there and kids may find it overwhelming after they leave the safe confines of school and college. Parents may find it overwhelming to think about their children's futures after they leave the safe confines of home, school and college.
When tough situations, natural disaster, and human tragedies happen, we as parents always think about our babies first. How are they going to cope? How to avoid them from being traumatised while feeling the empathy that they naturally should feel? There are two key words that will always help them majorly during tough times, and they are: Resilience and Compassion.
In psychology, resilience has a specific meaning – the ability of an individual to spring back from serious setbacks in life. Therefore, resilience is defined as the ability to adapt to adversity and cope with living in spite of stresses.
As a parent you may believe your job is to protect your children from tough situations, but in fact, you could be reducing their ability to handle life's frustrations and situations and attendant emotions such as anger, sadness, and fear.
Tips for building resilience in your children
1. Trust your child to cope. Children are a lot stronger than you think in mental and emotional ways, so do not underestimate them.
2. Don't judge. Your child will invariably make mistakes, encounter disappoints and other negative situations in life. Try to refrain from judging your child and be there to offer your support.
3. Don't rush in to fix problems If you always jump in to fix problems for your child they may not learn necessary problem-solving skills.
Building resilience is a vital ingredient in parenting and equipping your kids with the right skills to cope with life's setbacks is one of the best gifts you can impart to your children.
Our children are the reflection of us. Or so they say. If we are to believe that, then setting a good example is crucial. Where and how do you show your children that compassion and kindness goes a long way?
Home Sweet Home
Charity begins at home. Whoever who said that sure knew what he was talking about. How can your children be nice to others if they watch you being cruel to the maid or the pet? Many a home prides itself over the authority it holds over a maid. I’ve witnessed many in public maids being humiliated, not being allowed to eat with the family at the table, etc. Why smack Junior when he bites the maid when you’re doing the same thing verbally?
Do ensure that at home you are doing the basics. Let your maid eat when you eat. Let her have enough rest. If you really don’t want her to eat outside with you, let her take a walk while the family dines. You’re not just treating your maid better but you’re also teaching Junior a lesson in compassion here.
Pass It On
There is never such a thing as a child is too young to be doing good deeds. If your child is able to walk, talk and think, now is as good as ever.
Explain to your children the happiness that good deeds bring and the selflessness it brings out in a person. Set a goal for them. Encourage them to do one good deed a day. It could be from anything as simple as petting the family dog or thanking the postman as he delivers the letters each day. The best thing about doing good deeds is that size does not matter.
As children move to nursery or playschool, teach them about ‘paying it forward’. When your kid does something nice for a mate in class, tell him to whisper to his friend to pay it forward and do something nice for someone else. You are not only teaching your child to perform good deeds, but you are teaching him to be humble as well!
The present day world is facing a crisis. A crisis resulting from the manner in which almost everybody is caught up with the false happiness that is provided by material pleasures. As we scramble to buy the ‘bigger’ house or the ‘nicer’ car, think first of what such an action reflects on your 5 or 6-year-old. That materialism equates power?
What the world is lacking is not cars or houses or cash. The shortage lies in human compassion. As we stuff potato chips into our mouth and watch, without batting an eyelid, the images of Ethiopian children lying by the roadside with open wounds, walk past a child in India who mercifully begs for a cent, stare at a kitten whose tail is bleeding, we transfer the lack of empathy and the deep density of our own indifference to our children.
At the end of the day, it is not how much you have but how much you have helped and that is something that should be embedded in each child.
What do you think? Do selfish parents beget selfish kids? Share your views below!