Blog Positive Parenting FAQ

What to Do When Your Child Gives Up Easily at the First Sign of Trouble


It’s her tenth try to hit the silly little white ball into the stupid little gap with the stupid mini-golf membership.

After which – wham! – she slams the golf membership into the pretend turf … and – whoosh! – she throws the golf club into the shrubs. Everyone watches in horror. She stomps off.

This wasn’t the first time and it gained’t be the final.

Do you’ve gotten a toddler who has hassle managing frustration? Please take consolation in figuring out you’re not alone. Many youngsters (and adults, for that matter) have hassle with frustration, disappointment, and dealing with challenges.

Before I continue, I would like to let you realize I understand the way it feels to be that youngster; the one who’s deeply annoyed and acts out. I understand, because I sheepishly admit that I was the woman up there.

I used to be the one who threw mini-golf golf equipment.

I had a terrible time managing my emotions when issues have been exhausting for me. When the going acquired robust, I received going – literally.

I might bail in all types of ways: I’d pretend tummy-aches or “accidentally” fall in races I assumed I wouldn’t win. I might give up the card recreation and cease making an attempt my greatest any time I might odor failure approaching.

I bailed so much as a kid because I lacked a approach to assist myself by means of challenges, see my approach over hurdles, and get myself to the end line no matter what.

Briefly, I lacked what we call in at present’s parenting lingo “grit” and “resilience.”

Make Peace With Your Past - Gifts-Imperfection-Book-Cover_284X418When I turned a mother, one of my massive objectives was to increase my youngsters to be NOT like me in this regard. I had my work minimize out for me, because as the clever Brené Brown, writer of The Presents of Imperfection, says, “We cannot give our children what we do not have ourselves.”

So, in pursuing my objective to increase gritty and resilient youngsters, I had to study what these issues meant, then study to do it for myself, and concurrently train it to my youngsters.

I discovered some super-valuable issues alongside the method and I’d like to share them with you right here. My hope is to allow you to create an surroundings by which you and your youngsters can really thrive.

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The Keys to Confidence

Call it grit or resilience or bad-assery, but I feel what we’re really after as mother and father is confidence.

According to my very own objectives and what my shoppers inform me they need, it seems our collective aim is to increase youngsters who trust themselves, who consider in themselves, and who can face life’s challenges with grace – or at least without throwing the golf golf equipment and/or giving up.

As a dad or mum educator and parenting coach, I assist mother and father shift their household lives to ones which might be calmer and happier. Half of my work includes difficult them to take trustworthy stock of who they are so they can construct and pursue what they actually need for their households.

I drop quite a bit of fact bombs in my work – and the fact about confidence is this: As a mum or dad you gained’t feel 100% confident 100% of the time. Which is ok. The truth is, it’s superior because it keeps you in growth-mode. The choice can be stagnation. Stuckness. (Ew.)

The same is true on your youngsters. They gained’t all the time really feel confident; that’s OK. Half of our job is to let them know that it is OK.

the power of yet labeling positively_82291819Being assured means we’re OK not being assured all the time. (self-acceptance)

Being assured means we maintain making an attempt when things get onerous. (grit)

Being confident means we are in a position to bounce back once we stumble. (resilience)

So, the question isn’t, “How do I teach my child to be confident all the time?”

The question is extra like, “How can I build my child’s confidence enough so that s/he hangs in there when the going gets tough? How can I help my child build inner-strength?”

We would like our youngsters to have a sturdy foundation, not a shaky false-front. We would like them to have that strong, unshakable confidence that comes from three things: self-acceptance, grit, and resilience.


You realize that one that makes you are feeling at ease immediately? The one that different individuals tend to trust, ask for advice, and usually want to be around?

I’m not speaking about the loud leader-type (although it might be). I’m not speaking about the attention-seeking clown who will do something for amusing. I’m not talking about the drama queen/king who instructions a big audience at parties.

All of these individuals are fascinating in their own right, but they don’t essentially possess the high quality of the clear, grounded, regular one that knows and trusts her/himself.

The quality which makes somebody engaging to others, greater than some other high quality for my part, is self-acceptance. It’s the high quality which makes the individual OK, virtually no matter what.

The self-accepting individual isn’t consumed with comparisons or self-judgment. The self-accepting individual sees issues (and her/himself) as they’re and isn’t dashing to please others.

To boost youngsters with this foundation of “I’m OK,” we will make use of particular parenting techniques which are staples of in the present day’s greatest parenting research and assets:

When I am feeling annoyed or when things have not gone proper, I mannequin my self-acceptance by saying these phrases out loud. And hopefully, my youngsters are listening.

  • I’m OK being imperfect
  • I study from my mistakes
  • I settle for myself as is – and I attempt to continue to grow

Crucial thing to keep in mind about self-acceptance is that it begins with us. Like every thing we mannequin for our youngsters, our own diploma of self-acceptance will immediately impression theirs.

When we treat ourselves with kindness and compassion, we create a wholesome cycle of self-acceptance. Our youngsters see us accepting ourselves as is – they usually study to do the similar.


Grit - The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Book CoverAs I write this, the word “grit” has turn into quite the parenting focus. Grit is a term meaning you understand how to persist with something you need regardless of obstacles and setbacks.

In her e-book, Grit: The Power of Ardour and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth found that grit can also be what appears to separate the successful individuals from the not-so-successful individuals in life.

So, it’s no marvel we would like our youngsters to have it.

Duckworth’s research exhibits that grit, defined as “a combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal,” is clear in excessive achievers in each area. She also found scientific evidence that grit can develop.

The reality is, we will’t simply give grit to our youngsters. Grit is something an individual must earn and develop by way of expertise – principally via encountering failures that aren’t soul-crushing.

In the course of of our youngsters earning their grit, we play an important position. Our actions – the ways we train them to speak to themselves, the methods we help them, the methods we allow them to wrestle typically – all of these selections we make along the approach both assist or hinder grit.

We will’t just inform our youngsters they’re superior (although they are). We should allow them to wrestle (with our help) and are available out the other aspect (with our love).

Mindset_The_New_Psychology_of_success_Book_CoverIn her ebook Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck studies that when a toddler is praised for effort (“You’re working hard on that!”) as an alternative of perceived fastened elements (“You’re so smart!”) a toddler is extra possible to work onerous and obtain more, creating what she calls a “growth mindset.”

To get to that progress level, we’d like to let youngsters get a bit annoyed. The perfect state of affairs for constructing grit and confidence is when a activity is tough enough, but not too arduous.

This differs for everybody, of course, so you’ve to discover the sweet spot for each baby.

How we speak to our youngsters completely shapes their mindset and finally their grit-factor. A cheat-sheet like this one that I created to share with my shoppers helps get a jump-start on this entire process.


Resilience is how we come out of, or recuperate from, hardship. Resilience is the capacity to bounce back and maintain going. Resilience is the flexibility we’d like to adapt to life.

Resilience means we’re shaped by our expertise – to get nerdy about it, it’s how we reveal neuroplasticity.

Briefly, neuroplasticity means our brains are malleable; they modify. They don’t develop after which cease altering, even once we attain adulthood. Necessary to notice is that our experiences affect us; our brains truly change consequently of our experiences.

Resilience may be onerous to model on your baby, especially when you’re someone (like me) who endured lots of stress as a toddler and/or has a extra intense temperament. When we survive challenges it definitely builds character, however surviving just isn’t the similar as resilience.

The American Psychological Association says, “resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.”

I really like that! You possibly can study resilience. One of my favorite ideas for educating (and learning) resilience is an easy self-talk mantra: “I am resilient.”

Listed here are some examples of rigid vs. resilient self-talk:

Inflexible Self-Speak: I’ll never be a great prepare dinner.
Resilient Self-Speak: I’m learning how to prepare dinner – I’m getting better.

Rigid Self-Speak: I simply can’t let go of my past.
Resilient Self-Speak: I’m taking steps to heal myself.

Inflexible Self-Speak: Things are all the time going to be this manner.
Resilient Self-Speak: Things change. I could be patient.

child_gives_up_easily_3083037The extra we tell ourselves that we possess resilience, the extra our brains get the message and we start doing issues that really start to appear to be resilience – corresponding to figuring out various choices for when the babysitter calls in sick at the final minute.

When we start to model resilience ourselves, our youngsters will start behaving extra resiliently as properly. For example, when rain cancels our plans to go to the park, my youngsters at the moment are quite adept at saying things like, “Oh, that’s disappointing.” And arising with “Plan B.”

It was not all the time this manner in my family and it nonetheless isn’t 100% foolproof. We all have our off days, for positive. But, consistent with the mindset of resilience and grit, that is one thing we proceed to work on in our household and it’s a value I’ve come to maintain pricey.

Briefly, we freak out much less. This looks like victory to me. Some days it looks like one thing value celebrating – and I do! – especially as my youngsters enter the tween and teenage years.

I repeat: it was NOT all the time this manner. We had freak-outs and tears, identical to anybody else. It took time to find out how to do it in another way – and it still takes time.

We had to work at it. We had to wait to get results. This is how peaceable parenting works. Typically there’s a fast repair; typically you will have to wait to reap what you sow.

I’m right here to report, especially to those of you with youthful youngsters, that the early years really are the “seed planting” years. The seeds take time to root and sprout and flower and bear fruit.

Keep in mind: we don’t eat the fruit the day we plant the seeds.

I am not good, and neither are my youngsters or husband. We attempt, although, and in our striving we apply the parts of self-acceptance, grit, and resilience I’ve shared with you.

I sincerely hope this info helps your loved ones begin (or continue) to construct your deepest and most confident versions of yourselves. The world needs extra grit; less golf-club throwing.

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2-Minute Motion Plan for Fantastic Mother and father

For our quick contemplation at present, listed here are some down-and-dirty ideas for placing these concepts into your parenting apply –

Model Self-Acceptance. Use simple phrases akin to:

  • I’m OK being imperfect
  • I study from my mistakes
  • I accept myself as is – and I attempt to continue to grow

Find Optimal Frustration Ranges. The perfect state of affairs for building grit and confidence is when a process is tough enough, but not too onerous. This differs for everyone, of course, so you’ve to find the candy spot for each baby.

Lengthy-Time period Action Plan for High quality Mother and father

This strategy requires a brand new means of talking and takes time. Journal your journey. Brainstorm new progress mindset phrases you need to use together with your youngsters. In case you don’t know where to start you should use this cheat sheet.

Get trustworthy. Ask yourself how nicely you settle for yourself, what you are feeling assured about, and the way gritty you actually are. In case you are curious, you possibly can take Angela Duckworth’s Grit Quiz.

Follow resilient self-talk. Creating productive (not simply constructive) self-talk is a key to constructive parenting. The best way we speak to ourselves informs how we speak to our youngsters and how they, ultimately, will speak to themselves. Self-talk is a large deal!