Parents want to shelter their kids as much as possible. The world is a dangerous place, and protecting kids is understandable. But, they also need to learn how to deal with adversity. Sheltering them too much will prevent this from happening.
It’s a delicate balance on knowing what to tell kids and what to keep from them. After all, many societies have rating systems with movies to limit the exposure to children of certain ages. However, they learn much from older siblings and even from classmates in school (who also have older siblings). They also take cues from parents who inadvertently use bad language, as hard as they try not to.
Kids know more than we give them credit for, and they can handle much more than we want to believe. They watch the news and see stories of violence, terrorism, and other horrific events. Even if you keep them from watching, they hear about the events in school. There is simply no way around it.
When kids know they can talk to their parents, they can handle most situations. It is always better to get information directly from the source, i.e., parents, rather than getting it from outside sources such as friends. The information from friends is likely to be altered. That is one reason kids tell outrageous stories when they get home from school.
To help kids deal with adversity, be sure the set the stage for their behavior. If you fly off the handle when a situation occurs, you can be certain they will do the same. Stay as calm as possible and look for solutions. The kids will take your lead on this behavior as well.
Kids should also learn to help others at an early age. This way, they won’t be afraid to rely on others when they need help. When they get older, they may be willing to reach out to friends or family members. Of course, they should try to take care of certain situations on their own before reaching out. Again, it’s a delicate balance they need to learn.
Every family situation is different, and each situation may require different ways to handle them. This variety makes it tough to structure the handling of adversity as a step-by-step process if that were even possible. The earlier kids get exposed to life’s situations, the easier it will be for them to handle them later when they are adults.
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