4 tips for raising flexible and resilient kids
If you are or would like to be a conscious parent, then you should know that today’s challenges require problem solvers, and we should be raising independent thinkers who are both flexible and resilient. As doing so doesn’t come from coincidence or any other arbitrary factors but is a result of deliberate action on behalf of parents, this Pacific Prime UK article gives you easy and actionable tips on how to raise kids.
1. Provides an environment that encourages growth in whatever direction your kids take
How many times have we heard parents say that they want their kids to become a doctor or engineer? Or seen “Tiger Mums” send their kids to Piano lessons and pressure them to practise, hoping that they become a musical genius one day? The important thing to remember is that sculpting your kid into what you’d like them to be isn’t the best way and can even backfire if your kid becomes stressed out and loses their love for learning.
Instead of a cookie-cutter approach, you should seek to understand your kids. What are their likes and dislikes? Are there any areas they are showing talent or promise? Do they dread the thought of certain activities or classes? This helps you provide the optimal environment that encourages growth in whatever direction your kids take and maximises their chances of flourishing.
2. Avoid answering “why” questions with “because I said so” and provide concrete answers instead
No matter how futile it seems or how busy you are, try to give your kids concrete answers to any questions they have. Keeping them quiet by saying “because I said so” sends an unhealthy message to kids that you don’t respect them enough to explain things and don’t give them a chance to develop their logical or reasoning skills. On the other hand, giving them an answer that you or any adult would be satisfied with helps them understand the world better.
Case in point. If your kids ask why they can’t have chocolates and sweets every day, you might be inclined to say, “because I said so”. But all this does is tell kids that they can’t eat chocolates every day when you’re around. However, if you explain how sweet treats cause tooth problems instead and tell them that avoiding them as much as possible means fewer trips to the dentist, your kids will understand the consequences of their actions and be more inclined to listen to your advice.
Don’t forget to focus on the “how” questions
“Why” questions are certainly good, but don’t forget to use “how questions”. In many cases, focusing on the “why” is irrelevant if the problem has already occurred. Instead, focusing on the “how” can help your kids develop their problem-solving skills. Depending on their age, you may want to encourage them to go online to find solutions for themselves.
3. Talk and read to your child as much as you can, and expose them to different kinds of people
When kids are very young, they might not understand the meanings of words, but they’re still absorbing them and building a neural foundation for later learning. You’ll also be introducing them to new vocabulary and boosting their reading comprehension. Through reading and talking, you can also teach them “emotion words” like happy and sad, so that they can better understand human feelings and act more flexibly.
In addition, you can expose your kids to people they don’t normally encounter (i.e. people aside from grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.). Exposing them to people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds – especially when they are infants, can also be the simplest anti-racism step you can take as a parent. Then, as they get older and can exchange ideas with people from diverse backgrounds, they’ll also be able to expand their horizons.
4. Describe the activity or action, and don’t let that define a person
If you call your kid “good” or “bad” for doing something, you’re automatically labelling them based on their actions. Try describing the activity and being specific, so that your kids know that their actions don’t define them. They may have cheated on their exams, which is not a good thing to do, but that doesn’t make them a cheater. Likewise, they may have helped a friend out and should know that their specific action was good.
You can also engage your kids when reading to them, encourage them to think of people as multidimensional and foster their analytical and critical thinking skills. Did a character fail to tell the truth? Instead of calling them a liar, say that they told a lie and follow that up with questions like: Why do you think they lied? How will other people feel when they find out? Should they be forgiven? And more.
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Flexible and resilient kids also need to be physically and mentally healthy, which is why it’s a good idea for parents to secure a comprehensive health insurance plan for them. Whether it’s for routine vaccinations, GP appointments, or a trip to the emergency room, kids are often in and out of hospitals, and you’ll want to make sure they have access to the best – without paying sky-high medical bills out of pocket.
As a global health insurance brokerage, with over two decades of industry experience, Pacific Prime UK has knowledgeable and impartial advisors on hand who can help you find and select the best health plan for your family’s needs and budgets. From filling out lengthy applications and negotiating with insurers on your behalf to making claims for reimbursement and renewing a plan, you’ll also receive unrivalled support from our team throughout your insurance journey.