If you want your children to grow up empowered and resilient, take off the bubble wrap and teach them these five lessons in life.
I happen to come across this article from a magazine and I find that this is very true. Our children are overly protected to the extend they could not accept failures. Once they fail, they will resign to their fate that they will not succeed.
Failing a test, losing a game, being told you didn't do your best, hearing the word "no", and having to do things you don't like or don't want to do - these are all part and parcel of life. But, instead of teaching their children to accept the 'hard knocks' and equipping them with the tools to handle whatever challenges they face, many parents do the very thing they should not, and that is shielding their little ones from these realties.
It's time to stop protecting your children from life's tough lessons and start showing them how to navigate and learn from them, says Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist from Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychologist Wellness. "Other than high intelligence (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ), perseverance has been shown to be a predictor of success in children," he explained. "Experiencing hardship and challenges is necessary for kids to develop persistence and perseverance. If we overshield them from life's hard knocks, they will become over-entitled adults and will give up easily when faced with difficulties.'
So, do your children a favour and teach them these five essential lessons in life.
Lesson 1: You will have to do things you don't like but do them well anyway.
Parents should encourage and acknowledge your child's effort, regardless if they have performed to your expectation. This is so as they still put in effort and persevere to do something which they do not really fancy. Being effort-oriented will give your kid the confidence to confront hardships and attempt tasks that may not bring about immediate gratification or result but that will at least make him feel good about giving them a shot!
Lesson 2: Sometimes you have to take "no" for an answer.
Sometimes as adults or parents, we have to learn to say "no" or reject our children's request. We have to explain to them why the "no" comes into picture. For instance, I told my boy that he was not allowed to consume ice-cream as he was down with cough and flu. I have to explain to him the consequences like coughing badly till he may vomit at night, the sleepless nights he has to experience and the amount of medicines to take. When he has recovered, he can have his ice-cream but consume in moderation.
Lesson 3: Praise must be earned.
It is right to praise our children when they had performed a task well but don't overdo. If my five year old son has written his work neatly or has improved in his colouring compared to his previous work, I will praise him that he can do it. At the same time, I will tell him he has the ability to write or colour neatly and he can do even better. On one hand, he feels that his effort is being recognised and he still have room for improvement. This is crucial as there was once he was pretty upset as to why his friends could win prizes for their colouring but he didn't win. This will also lead to lesson 4.
Lesson 4: Learn to lose because you can't win every single time.
Many parents are afraid of allowing their children to fail because they don't want their kids to feel demoralised. In the end, a lot of children are complacent with what they know or what they can do. They are ignorant that there are always people who are better than them. When they lose, they are unable to face the fact that they are not the winner. Parents, at this point, can walk them through their attempt, point out the reasons they failed, help them to rework their strategy so as to get a better outcome next time. We do not want the kids to put off their goals just because of one or two failures. We want them to keep trying and improving. We can even witness from big events like Olympics, that not all competitors will win or get Gold at all the games they are good at. Joseph Schooling is one good example we can learn from. He shows us that he can win a Gold in Olympic if he perseveres and keeps on improving.
Lesson 5: The topic or lesson may not be very fun, but learn to like it.
Some children like maths and some don't. Some children like Chinese and some don't. We have to find out from them why they do not like. Is it because they find that it is difficult to learn? Or for Chinese, is it because they don't understand? What I found out from my boy for not liking Chinese is probably we seldom speak to him in mandarin. If I ask him to write that few strokes or that Chinese character, after two attempts, he will stop. There was once I tried asking him to do something which he likes yet he will be practising Chinese at the same time. He knows how to write 1-10 (一到十) in Chinese. I asked him to count the items in the box, after which he will write the correct answer in Chinese. He knew how to do and he felt that it was so fun. For kids, we have to search for their interest and link to subjects they are weak at. We have to explain to them the importance of why they have to know the different subjects or languages.
Parents are good role models for our children. They listen and watch what and how we speak; how we behave; what do we do at home; when do we throw temper and how do we get through difficulties; etc. We are not robots and we are not always perfect too. We just have to learn self-restraint and do the right things for our kids. More importantly, learn to educate and explain to them.
(Edited and source quoted from a writer Sasha Gonzales from Young families)