Raising a mentally strong kid doesn’t mean he won’t cry when he’s sad or that he won’t fail sometimes. Mental strength won’t make your child immune to hardship – but it also won’t cause him to suppress his emotions.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks. It gives them the strength to keep going, even when they’re plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.
But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, “13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do“, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life’s toughest challenges:
Condoning a victim mentality
Striking out at the baseball game or failing a science test doesn’t make a child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are a part of life.
Refuse to attend your kids’ pity parties. Teach them that no matter how tough or unjust their circumstances, they can always take positive action.
Parenting out of guilt
Giving in to guilty feelings teaches your child that guilt is intolerable. Kids who learn this won’t be able to say no to someone who says, “Be a friend and let me copy your paper,” or, “If you loved me, you’d do this for me.”
Show your kids that even though you feel guilty sometimes – and all good parents do – you’re not going to allow your uncomfortable emotions get in the way of making wise decisions.
Making kids the center of the universe
If you make your entire life revolve around your kids, they’ll grow up thinking everyone should cater to them. And self-absorbed, entitled adults aren’t likely to get very far in life.
Teach your kids to focus on what they have to offer the world, rather than what they can gain from it.
Allowing fear to dictate choices
Although keeping your kids inside a protective bubble will spare you a lot of anxiety, playing it too safe teaches your child that fear must be avoided at all times.
Show your kids that the best way to conquer fear is to face it head-on, and you’ll raise courageous people who are willing to step outside their comfort zones.
– Amy Morin
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