I am not sure that as a child I learned to develop emotional strength in a way that would serve me well as an adult. In fact, I’ll be honest that I am more than just a crier, I’m an all-out hurricane of big emotions that tends to unravel right when I am needed most.
And that doesn’t help anyone, especially not me.
So in breaking the chains of my own shortcomings, I want to be able to empower my kids to be better and to strive towards something more. Therefore as I have analyzed my own lack of assertiveness or strength in the past several years since having kids, I have found the key pieces that were missing in my life and have worked to focus on them for my children.
How to help your kids develop emotional strength
It is our responsibility to nurture our kids to develop high levels of emotional strength when they are growing up. People who have high emotional strength are able to make clear decisions and are not easily swayed. In this day and age, our kids are exposed to too many distractors, with some of them proving to be potentially dangerous.
It would be a great thing to teach our kids to have the emotional strength to make decisions that are good for them. By having good emotional strength, they will be able to stay clear of destructive peer pressure and chart a good life for themselves.
The best techniques you can apply to help your kids develop good emotional strength.
Teach them to be assertive and communicative
Teach your kids to communicate how they feel about something.
They should be able to offer their opinions and be able to defend their stance without fear. When you are making a family decision, invite them to come up with ideas and encourage them to air what they feel. This will grow their emotional strength.
Encourage them to tackle their fears head on and not shy away
As the kids grow up, they will face so much in their lives. They can make the decision to face some of the fears that might creep up or allow these fears to consume them.
When these fears consume them, it will control their happiness and even self-confidence. Encourage the kids to face these fears so that they are able to control their own destiny.
Work to learn by mistakes and accept natural consequences
Mistakes do not have to be a negative thing if well utilized.
Now and then, let your children engage in projects that seem too ambitious for them. Do not interfere unless you think it presents some form of harm to them. By letting them fail, you can show them that lessons exist all over. Encourage them to try again and again and when they succeed, they will come out feeling stronger and more confident than before.
Be an example
Kids will be very observant as this is one of their best mode of learning. They will need to see you as a strong person emotionally if you want them to cultivate their own emotional strength.
Talk to them about your goals, your challenges, your fears and how you overcome them.
This will give them the courage to surge on as well.
It might be uncomfortable talking about your own limitations and fears to your kids but it stems from the fact that you are also a human being and have developed your own strong emotional capacity.
Teach them basic life skills
Life skills are important because they give us the confidence to deal with a variety of circumstances. When you teach your kids these basic life skills, they will grow knowing how things work and what options they have when they are faced by certain adversities. They will be able to make informed decisions as their emotional strength is high.
Need help with handling your child’s big emotions?
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!