We often talk about what kids should eat, what’s healthy for them, how to improve their immunity and so on. Another important aspect of parenting is what we are doing for our kids’ mental well-being. In fact, it is equally if not more important to raise mentally-strong kids as raising healthy kids.
What my hubby and I do for the same, let me share with you. I always say that parenting is a journey and we need to constantly evolve as better parents. So, do share with me some of the things that you have implemented.
My 5-pointers to make my kids mentally strong:
Let them make mistakes:
Who doesn’t make mistakes? Don’t we adults make mistakes…Yes, we do. For me, I am perfectly fine with my kids making mistakes. Let them try, let them be imperfect, let them fail. Importantly, let them learn – learn from their mistakes.
Example: There is one important form to be submitted in the school and my kid forgets to take my signature on it. It would be interesting to see how the kid handles this situation.
- Will the kid tell some lies to teacher?
- Will the kid accept the mistake and apologize?
- Will the kid call the parent and ask them to come to school and sign the form?
Fortunately, my kids have chosen Option number 2 and 3 so far and that makes me happy as a parent. Making mistakes, accepting accountability for the same and then improve upon it is a great way to be strong inside.
Well, one note to parents here: Never ever encourage kids to tell lies or hiding things from family members. Even if they are harmless lies, when kids see that their parents are doing it, they won’t hesitate to do the same.
Teach them to be grateful
Being grateful is crucial because kids get this typical feeling – “No one loves me” …I remember getting it when I was kid and even if I am the only and pampered kid of my parents. When kids indulge in self-pity, they are not strong inside.
We need to help our kids affirm that world is a great place and we already have a lot to cherish. Some days will be bad but we can still choose to be happy. I share some examples from my past or whatever incidents that I have seen happening around me with my kids on a regular basis. That helps them to realize that there’s no need to feel bad about small issues.
Face your Fears and take them head-on
Kids being kids can be very sensitive to everything around them. For us, it could be overly fuss but for them it’s a BIG SCARY thing. My kid used to be very scared of jabs. In fact, giving vaccinations used to be a nightmare for me (and am sure for Doctors too). Then once I took the flu jab before her and told her to see the whole process without any fear or prejudice. She faced her fear, saw her mom taking injection and after that she managed to handle it very well. In fact, the girl told me that it’s the before-moments that are scary than the actual task. Correct, right?
If the kid keeps avoiding what it feels is scary, he/she will never gain confidence and will not be able to do it ever. I certainly and consciously do not want my kids to be deprived of anything like adventure sports, meeting new people or any other task that they want to do but fear.
Change is only Constant
When my kids were very young, I was always told that set a routine for them and it will work very well for them. True, for toddlers, pre-set routine is perfect and necessary so that eat on time, sleep on time and play on time.
But as they start growing up, in my opinion, we have to introduce some flexibility. We can’t be very rigid. We have to introduce some space to beat the routine. If you are traveling, there are high chances that the routine will get disturbed. We have to be ready for it and we have to make kids ready for it too. Also, in school, kids should be ready to cope up with the changes like new subjects, new teachers, new timings etc.
Stepping out of the comfort zone and adapting to the evolving situations make kids strong mentally and prepares them to face the ever-changing world around them.
In my case, my kids get very attached to the live-in helpers that stay in our home for 2-3 years and once the contract is over, new one comes in. For kids, adjusting to the new helper can be quite a big thing. As parents, we prepare them well in advance and make it clear that this auntie will go after a few months and then new auntie will take care of them when mom-dad are in office.
Let the kid feel Uncomfortable
This is something that I have to so so learn. As a mom, even the slightest discomfort I can’t see happening to my kids. Example: when they travel and visit other places or relatives and sometimes when the conditions are not as perfect as we wish to…I am always there to pamper them and spoon-feed them. OR when the subject is difficult to grasp, I would love to get them the best of the tuitions etc.
I must let them struggle, feel a bit of a pinch and figure their own way out. I must learn to make them accountable and accept their own responsibilities. After all, they have to get strong enough to face the big world out there and they have to carve their own paths.
As a parent, I still must give kids support and guidance. These struggles in fact will help my kids to build mental strength. The key point is to understand the fine line between support and spoon feeding.
By the way, when we want our kids to be strong inside, we should keep close watch on their health and nutrition too because health is wealth and strong should be inside out.
For my kids, I have always relied on the RIGHT milk like Friso to go with the home-cooked food, outdoor and indoor play and adequate sleep.
What’s your mantra to make kids strong inside, do share!
This blog post is in collaboration with Friso.
#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience