Parenting and Developing Coping Skills in Children
Parenting | Apr 21, 2019 | by Aakanchya Tamang
Parenting is no walk in the park but holding your child in your arms for the first time is the most rewarding feeling we experience as parents. We feel the responsibility to protect our children from every possible thing in the universe, but as time goes, we come to the bitter realization that it is not possible to do so.
Children growing up can be a challenge, for both parents and children themselves. As much we want them to be surrounded by good things in life, there is no denying the inevitability of adversities that they will face, sooner or later. Providing the basic necessities of food, clothing, education and financial stability might be important for raising a child, but as parents the most encouraging thing that we can do for our children is to teach them how to cope with the challenges that they will face growing up.
Failures, stress and disappointments are natural part of growing up, but taking every disappointment as an opportunity to foster our children’s emotional capability to muddle through situations will teach them to be confident and strong. Coping mechanisms aren’t something we’re born it. We develop them over time by facing situations that come our way and everyone deals with them in his or her own way. Especially children learn everything from the surrounding that they grow up in and hence, it becomes our duty as parents to create a safe surrounding where they can unmask their feelings. Some of the ways we can encourage positive coping skills are:
• Always empathize with their problems. When your children come to you with a problem, rather than finding the solution first, make them feel comfortable, and create a space where they can feel confident to share without being judged. Share and relate to their story by telling them about your own experiences at their age. This will take the burden away, making them feel that they are not alone in this. It is your duty as a parent to create a safe haven for your children.
• Never avoid a problem. There are some things that children sometimes may not feel comfortable sharing with their parents, but when they do approach you, it is best to accept it and talk it through. Denial only makes situations worse over time. But encouraging them to face any situation will help them muster up courage to face any problem in the long haul.
• Don’t interfere too soon. While you may feel like your child is too young to face any problems and want to step in, learn to have confidence in your child. Leaving them to do their own work will teach them to be independent, creative and show resilience in their path. As much as it is important to support our children, sometimes it is better for them to rescue themselves to identify their own strengths.
• Accept perspectives. When children come to you with a problem, don’t step in entirely without giving them any room for them to voice their opinions. Consider all views, most importantly your children’s, and allow them to grow up to be innovative in coping with their own problems and learning to value other people’s opinion as well.
• Never accept stubborn behavior. Not everyone copes in a positive way. Some may act defiant, throw temper tantrums but sometimes the best way to cope with such behavior is not to give opinions but simply listen. Validate their feelings and teach them while it may not be possible to change a situation, we can always learn something from it. Teach them to simply move on rather than vent and hold grudges.