Work to build a close, loving relationship with your child. When your child feels loved, accepted and understood then they feel like they are protected from harm, are able to do their best and can handle adversity when it arises. Children learn what they live. Having a close relationship with their parents teaches them the skills to make connections with others, such as family, friends, etc. and helps them to reach out to others when they need help.
Be a positive role model. Your child is constantly watching and listening to you. When she sees you handling stress and difficult situations in a calm and positive way it shows her that, even if you have challenges, you focus on positive solutions to the problem rather than dwelling on the negative and getting angry and disappointed.
Reach out for support from others when you have lost a job, a loved one, feel discriminated against – whatever the adversity. Looking for support from others helps your child to see that you don’t have to go through a crisis on your own – that you can reach out to others for help.
Model self-control – use techniques such as taking deep breaths, counting to ten, removing yourself from the stressful situation. Demonstrate to your child that you don’t expect instant gratification. Encourage your child to keep trying even when it’s hard, difficult or frustrating.
Help your child to identify what she can and cannot control. How we think about situations that happen to us really determines how we feel and what we do. Be a flexible thinker and gently challenge your child’s assumptions. Offer ways to see a situation from another perspective and new ways of handling difficulties they might face. If you find that your child has a persistently negative attitude, for example, “I never get to go first,” or “ Now everything is ruined,” challenge their thoughts and remind them of the times when they were first and remind that, if one thing goes wrong, not everything is ruined.
BE POSITIVE – seeing the positive rather than the negative and having an optimistic attitude is one of the most important strengths we can have. It gives us hope and protects us from poor health and depression. Parents who model a positive attitude are more likely to have children who will develop a positive attitude too.
Enjoy the moment, have a laugh, slow down and “take time to smell the roses.”
Help your child to understand that there are situations in life that are challenging and have no magic solutions. Show them that sometimes you need to work at finding solutions and deal with adversities.