3 ways you might unknowingly be hindering your child's resilience

As a mum; I am always worrying about my child’s social and emotional skills. We all want the best for our children, and hope for them to be able to adapt when they start school, show grit and determination through the troubling teens, and become a successful and valuable member of society one day (man the things mums think and worry about!). But life is busy and the days are short and so despite our best efforts to build our children up; sometimes we unknowlingly cut them down and hinder their development of resilience.

I’m definitely guilty of these on many occasions but since realising I’ve began to make a conscious effort not to do these things and my child’s confidence and willingness to try new things is growing.

How, you ask?

1.      Getting Frustrated and telling them off when they try something new and fail.

An example of this is when your child decides to try and pour some milk for themselves when you’re busy and without you knowing. You come in from hanging the washing out to a giant sticky mess all over the kitchen and go nuts.

As annoying as it is, your child was trying something new with confidence (they believed they could). And to succeed one must first fail. By getting angry they may get the message that they are not good enough to try new things, and may become scared or demotivated to try new things.

Instead, have a huff and a puff, and then use it as a teachable moment. Get a cup and some water and talk about whether you should pour slowly or fast and practice together.


2.      Doing things for them that they should (by age) be able to do for themselves.

An example of this is doing their buttons everyday on their shirt because you are in a rush and it’s just quicker and easier to do it yourself.

By doing things for children, they are not only not going to learn, but it may also affect their confidence that they can do things themselves; and create a ‘I can’t do it’ attitude.

Instead, choose one new thing at a time to teach and take the time to practice these tricky tasks together.


3.      Redirecting your frustration towards them

An example is at Kindergym where the child is trying a tricky activity and you are trying to help them, but they start to be silly. There are other people waiting and so you give up and say ‘don’t worry about it’.

When you give up on them, they will start to give up on themselves. You are sending them the message that they aren’t good enough to do that ‘tricky’ task.

Instead, change your language ‘That was a good try, but it is a tricky one, perhaps we can try it again in the break or next time around’.