Make time to listen to your children
When parents take the time to listen to their kids and learn to accept and value their feelings, they help make them more resilient. “Kids are more open to listen to us when we listen to them,” says Kenneth Barish, PhD, clinical professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. He suggests putting aside 10 minutes at the end of every day, just to talk. “Ask them about their concerns, about any problems they have had with friends, and repair any anger and misunderstandings they may have.” Listening puts any setbacks into perspective and when we repair anger and misunderstanding, the feelings don’t build up, explains Barish.
Engage them in the process of solving problems
When parents indulge in helicopter parenting, they go as far as to do their child’s homework and complete their projects that they need for class. “Engaging your child is the alternative to helicopter parenting,” says Barish. When your child is having a problem, ask them what they can do to solve it. “Parents don’t offer this often because they are distracted with what they can do to solve the problem. Engaging them changes the channel and encourages the child to solve the problem and in turn, strengthens their problem-solving skills.
Encourage a growth mindset
Research shows there are two types of mindsets – fixed and growth. With a fixed mindset – “I’m smart” or “I’m not smart” – every failure means you are not smart. In a growth mindset, every failure is an opportunity, explains Barish. With a fixed mindset, a child that doesn’t get a good grade in math believes that he shouldn’t do math. A fixed mindset leads to anxiety and pressure, while a growth mindset leads to a passion for learning. “The growth mindset is a powerful tool,” says Barish. With a growth mindset, you have to think that intelligence and talent are muscles that get better and stronger with use. When a child doesn’t do well, they don’t get discouraged, they say “if I work harder, I’ll get smarter.”