Kids aren’t born mentally tough. They arrive in this world as a tabula rasa (a blank piece of paper) and it’s on us to pass the knowledge and teach them the most important lessons in life.
However, we spend a lot of time thinking about the importance of the physical strength of our children instead of investing more in their mental progress and developing their mental skills.
Good mental strength is the key to living a successful life and reaching your highest potential.
Does it really matter if your children are remarkable masterminds or well-built athletes if they cannot survive the constant struggles in life and they give up once the road gets too rocky?
As parents and people who are responsible for raising the next generation, it is essential to spend a fair amount of time thinking about everything we need to do to stop robbing our children of their mental strength and stop supporting people who encourage the victim mentality.
It is our duty to help them grow stronger, bolder and braver.
Here are 3 fundamental things parents who have mentally strong children do:
1. THEY PRAISE THEIR EFFORTS INSTEAD OF ACHIEVEMENTS
Children who are taught to think that a successful outcome is the most important thing in life will always fear doing things where they might fail. Children who are raised to believe that without success, they are a failure will never be brave enough to challenge themselves and reach their potential.
Praising kids for their accomplishments is forcing them to succeed at any cost. It’s practically encouraging them to use every method at their disposal to win. Even if that means cheating or treating others unkindly to get there.
Instead of praising their success by saying “I’m so proud of you for getting an A on your math test”, praise their effort and say, “I’m really happy and proud that your hard work really paid off”.
When you make yourself clear that the whole journey is more important than the destination, your child will be more likely to persevere and handle every obstacle in their way.
2. THEY TEACH THEIR KIDS HOW TO IDENTIFY AND EXPRESS THEIR EMOTIONS
A lot of parents I know are often too quick to regulate their kids’ emotions for them. I’m sure you’ve heard a mother say, “calm down honey”, or “stop worrying”.
Now, even though these phrases might sound like just the right thing to say to your kid, you have to understand that you cannot possibly allow your kid to depend only on your actions and your words.
If you’re always there to cheer them up when they cry, you’re not giving them a chance to develop a healthy coping mechanism. That way, your kid will never learn the essential skills to regulate their own emotions and deal with their own issues.
Instead of babying them, make sure to proactively teach your children how to identify their emotions, what are the right methods to handle a certain situation and what are the best ways to express their emotions.
You’d be surprised to learn how different they are. While one child may find reading actually improves his mood, another may find socializing the perfect way to unwind and relax.
3.THEY HELP THEIR CHILDREN DEVELOP A REALISTIC INNER DIALOGUE
If you want your children to put their best effort, you have to help them learn the benefits of realistic thinking.
An overconfident kid might not study for a test thinking that “it’s too easy”. A person with no confidence on the other hand, won’t put their best effort thinking “I’m a failure no matter what I do”.
But, children who have a developed realistic inner dialogue will recognize their limitations, and believe in the power of their effort. They won’t let their flaws and imperfections get in the way of their strong desire to try. Even if trying makes them fail.