Teaching children to ‘Spring Back’


From years of research and experience Dr. Katharine Kersey has more suggestions to help children develop the self-confidence and tenacity to spring back when there is a low point. These suggestions are proactive and build a habit of toughness and positivity over time. They are printed with permission.

Add to these the habit of the happiest people in the world, the Danes, who make the wonderful sound of “Pfdt” which means, “It happens. I’m tough. Get over it. Move on. There are better things to do in life than dwell on this!” 

• Encourage children to maintain a positive attitude by teaching them creative ways to find fun in work. Break up huge jobs and do something fun in between.

• Give older children the chance to wait for family meals instead of snacking any time they want. Eat earlier if there is a pattern.

• Remind your children to be patient with a younger sibling’s interference with their toys; teach them that relationships are more important than” things.”

• We can help children learn self -control regarding electronic media and entertainment use by demonstrating our own restraint.

• Within reason allow children to experience the extremes of temperature by dressing accordingly, not hiding away inside from the weather.

•Teach children not to interrupt when adults are speaking to one another; set up an age-appropriate signal and behavior like their taking a step back  and take their turn.

• Teach children how to be responsible for their own clothes as early as possible: to sort and wash and put them away – including washing clothes by hand and hanging them to dry.

• When children really wish they had something, teach them to be grateful and find the best in whatever situation they are in. They can wait and save for it.

• Let children own their feelings, even if they are challenging, by not belittling the emotions but giving them a way to maintain perspective through phrases such as “Every challenge makes us stronger.”

• Require that responsibilities be completed even when children do not feel like it, such as making beds, taking a bath, feeding the pets, and brushing teeth.

• Show children that it is worth making a good decision for the long run even if it’s not the easiest, such as choosing healthy foods over junk foods even if they take longer to prepare.

When children take a break or nap, take one, too. Climb up and down stairs forward and backward five times. Find a friend or relative to watch the kids and go somewhere alone for two hours. Then reciprocate. And remember to say, “Pftd!” as needed.

Esther Macalday is a retired teacher living in Golden. For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com;wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons live Tuesdays and Saturdays and podcasts; Pinterest; and Facebook.

Esther Macalady, resilience, parenting, grandparents, Golden Colorado


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