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"I Can Do It!" Raising a Resilient Preschooler (page 2)

"I Can Do It!" Raising a Resilient Preschooler

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Updated on Aug 6, 2013

Set an Example

In teaching resilience, think about whether you as a parent convey confidence and resilience yourself. Linda Williams, MFT, a longtime family therapist, believes this concept is one of the most important in teaching your child inner strength. “Parents are the ones who need to lead by example and verbalize mistakes they make,” she says. “They help their children realize that life is about ups and downs, and if mom and dad show they can make it through a tough situation, their little child learns to believe she can, too.” 

To model good attitudes for your child, refrain from using words like “never” or “always.” If you are stressed about a deadline at work or can’t fix a problem and say “I will never make this deadline,” or “I can’t do it,” you are conveying the message when something seems difficult, it’s okay to just give up. Instead, you might say, “This is such a tough deadline, but if I work hard, I can get it done.” It’s beneficial for your child to hear you talk in phrases that show persistence.

Make Room for Choices

Feeling pushed to be a certain way or given no opportunity to make choices can prevent a preschooler from building the self-confidence needed to foster resilience. Allow your preschooler to make choices and support them wholeheartedly. If your daughter puts on a striped shirt and plaid skirt in crazy colors, tell her she looks great and have her leave the house with confidence that she dressed herself and was supported. If your son comes to breakfast and tells you he brushed his hair by himself, praise him for his actions and let him go to school instead of fixing his hair. Preschool is the ultimate time to allow your child to express himself, without being judged by others. It is this type of parental support that will help your child grow confidence and nurture strong self-esteem.

By guiding your sons and daughters to work through problems on their own, teaching that perfection is not a reality, and supporting choices your child makes each day, you can say goodbye to the frustration and fear, and look forward to a stronger and more confident child in the future.

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