How to teach a child to deal with frustration
Things do not always go according to plan or according to what we want to happen. As parents, however, it is difficult for us to see our child upset and disappointed.
Do we have to protect him or do these feelings make sense to grow?
The fact is that we cannot protect our child from everything, we must rather teach him how to cope. If we help our child learn to keep a positive view of what is happening early on, we are actually arming him with the confidence that he can handle the situations he faces, even as an adult.
What does a disappointed child look like?
He may look sad, depressed, refuse to play, or even get angry. We must respect and support his experiences.
One way is to teach the child to recognize situations in which we can influence and situations over which we have no control. There are things that we can change according to our desire and will, but also others that we must comply with. If the child wants to play outside, but it is raining heavily, this is definitely one of those situations that we cannot change. It is good to take into account the feelings of the child and full of understanding and empathy to try to help him find another way to have fun this particular day.
Encourage your child to just look for and offer possible options.
This teaches him to focus on opportunities, not limitations. You can help him by asking him various open-ended questions to help him think, “What things do you like to do while you are at home? What comes to mind?
The attitude of making mistakes is also something that can help the child cope with frustration. It happens that, no matter how prepared we are, we fail to achieve the desired result. The important thing is to keep going, not give up and try again.
If the child tries to build a bridge, but it falls, he will probably not feel very well. But that’s not the end of the game, on the contrary – you can have fun looking for different ways to rebuild a bridge. After every mistake and every failure, we learn, develop, go to the next step of our knowledge and experience. After each attempt we see the challenge from different angles, new ideas come to mind.
Do not rush to give a ready-made solution, give the child space to experiment, encourage him to make more attempts to solve a problem. If we pass on this attitude to our child’s mistake, we help him not to fixate on failure, but on the experience he brings to him.
Disappointment can also come from another person’s action.
A friend promised to come to the birthday party, but he did not come. The teacher wrote a lower grade, and the child had taken the essay seriously. We cannot control other people, but we can teach our child to openly state his needs and feelings and to stand up in a respectful way.
There are situations in which we, the parents, cannot fulfill something we have promised for objective reasons. In this case, it is good to apologize and think together when we can realize our intentions, so as not to leave the child with vain expectations.
Avoid making promises that you will not keep. Build trust with the child so that he can seek support, share with you what worries him, receive a hug, comfort.
Encourage him to talk about what he is feeling, about what has disappointed him, help him calm down. Tell your child about situations in which you have felt this way.
Your reactions can also help your child build a clearer idea of future opportunities.
Use and teach your child to use expressions like, “Maybe next time / tomorrow!” To do this, you can even play a story with a puppet show so that the child can see different patterns of coping with frustration in an easy and accessible way. way.
There are situations in which we can predict that disappointment may occur. For example, you are at sea, it is good for the child to play with the waves and sand every day, but sooner or later the vacation will end, you will return and these games will not be possible. You can talk to the child about it and think together what can be done to save more of the good moments he is experiencing now.
Every parent wants to give their child only happy and joyful moments, but this is not realistic.
There is both sadness and disappointment in our lives, moments when we feel weak.
The truth is that these feelings help us grow, become wiser and appreciate the good moments in our lives.