As parents, it is easy to try and be too helpful when our children have obstacles to hurdle. We tend to want to do it all for them, often to a point of depriving them of the opportunity to grow. We don’t always give them credit for it, but children are very resilient when left to their own devices. When they are allowed to face their own difficulties, they become very adept at finding solutions to them. Here are some ways to help your child develop the talent to overcome difficulties.
It’s All in the Framing
What would you rather face: a challenge or a problem? Framing difficulties as challenges allows your child to rise to the occasion and face challenges head on instead of worrying about a “problem.” To put it another way, a challenge is positive; a problem is negative. Keep it positive for your child.
Coaching or mentoring your child through challenges is one of the most rewarding and effective methods of encouraging them to overcome difficulties. It helps them develop one of the most useful traits a child can develop for later in life: coping skills. You may want to go so far as to rehearse scenarios with them while helping them to cope with difficulty.
Always talk to your child as if you expect them to succeed in solving their dilemma. Children are smarter than you think at picking up cues. If you project the attitude that they are going to fail, they will cultivate that attitude. Luckily, if you project the attitude that they will succeed, they will also cultivate and copy that from you. Be realistic, but be positive and also make sure you are supportive of their feelings.
Trust is a Must
Trust your child to come up with their own solutions. You do want to coach them, but also keep in mind that they will surprise you with their creativity and “moxie” if you allow them the opportunity. It’s OK to coach, but never micromanage your child. If you are a “nervous Nellie,” they will pick up on it and become insecure in their own ability to affect a positive outcome.
Even if your child “failed” to solve many facets of their challenge, make sure to celebrate whatever victories they do have. This gives your child the confidence to go out and face subsequent challenges. It also promotes success as a habit and reinforces the idea that they were able to face down a challenge and win.
How We Do It at Cuddles Childcare Centres
Our motto is “Learning Through Play.” We have found that children at play are able to not only amass knowledge, but learn to solve problems on their own. When a child is attending a childcare centre for the first time, it can be an overwhelming experience. They go from being the centre of attention in their own homes to being one of many children in the centre. They meet other children from a lot of diverse backgrounds.
For many children, their first challenge is just saying “hi” to another child. But we give them plenty of other challenges along the way. The funny thing, though, is that they don’t even perceive their challenges as challenges because they are just having fun. Think of all the challenges hidden within a typical game or trying to draw a picture.
Jolly Phonics teaches your child basic phonics, but within a fun-filled, game-like experience. Jessie’s Art Time provides the challenge of creating art. Junior Soccer provides the basics of soccer, but in a fun way. All of these programs not only have their own innate challenges, but also teach your children to interact and play with others.
Collaboration is one of the greatest things a child can learn, especially early on. It helps them become much more well-adjusted when they “graduate” into school. Having already had practice in meeting challenges is a huge advantage for your child when they enter school and it is even better for later in life.
Social Skills Equals Ability to Meet Social Challenges
Children who acquire the skill of playing well with others usually find that their lives go a lot easier. They usually end up being more popular in school, which engenders more self-confidence. This creates a habit of successfully socialising and working in collaboration with others, which carries over into the workplace and their careers as they get older.
Contact one of our Cuddles Childcare Centres to learn more about helping your child overcome challenges and difficulties. We can help give your child a head start and help them achieve more in school and in life.