Mentally strong children not only have an advantage in school, but have an advantage in almost every aspect of life. Mentally strong children are not perfect, they are not exempt from failure and they certainly are not raised in an environment that protects them from making mistakes. Mentally strong children are, quit simply, willing to learn from their mistakes, feel comfortable in coming up with solutions and refuse to feel sorry for themselves.
After reading Amy Morin’s article in Forbes, entitled, Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid, I could not help but to try to apply the authors principles for what could be the making of mentally strong children. Morin’s article is not about what mentally strong people do, but what they avoid on their journey to success. Parents and educator searching for what makes mentally strong children may find the following 13 principles interesting.
13 Things To Avoid While Teaching Children To Be Mentally Strong
Mentally strong children do not waste their time feeling sorry for themselves. You seldom see a mentally strong child blaming others for being mistreated or spending a great deal of time dwelling on why life is not fair. Parents and educators who teach a child to move on after a mishap, instead of feeling sorry for himself, are teaching the child how to move on and become a problem-solver.
- Mentally strong children avoid giving away their power. They do not allow other to make them feel inferior or a loser. Mentally strong children realize they are in control of their feeling. Parents and educators should strive to help children to manage the way they respond to others showing them that this is one of the best ways to be in control.
- Mentally strong children avoid shying away change. If a child is taught at a very early age to “embrace change,” the fear of change as a child progresses in life will become non-existence. Parents and educators who strive to assist children to seek out change are also allowing children to become mentally energized and supporting the goal to “bring us your best!”
- Mentally strong children do not waste their energy on things they can’t control. Wouldn’t it be great to see children avoid and worry about what their peers thinking of them? Mentally strong children avoid the instant gratification or insults that many children find online or in person with their peers, family members and even themselves. This avoidance factor leads us to the next point…
- Mentally strong children avoid worrying about pleasing others. We want our children to be altruistic and value others, but not when it leads a child to please others just to appease or avoid someone sharing an honest, challenging opinion. Parents and educators who teach children to “speak up,” share an honest opposing vote, that may jeopardize pleasing another, are helping a children to be come mentally strong.
- Mentally strong children learn to take risk. Teaching children to avoid the fear of taking “calculated” risk may sound risky in itself, but consider what you are allowing the children to learn; how to experience the upside of success as well as the downside of not meet the challenge brought about by taking a risk.
- Mentally strong children avoid dwelling on the past. Too many children are encourage by parents to relive a success, or the “glory days.” Others are painfully reminded of their failures. Move on! It’s important that we teachers our children to evolve and avoid becoming stagnant.
- Mentally strong children avoid making the same mistakes over and over. Insanity has often been described wen referring to one who continues to make the same mistakes over and over. Parents and educators who teach children to accept a mistake as a learning opportunity and to change course to bring about a potential positive solution, are allowing the child to experience productive behavior rather than insanity.
- Mentally strong children avoid resentful feelings when witnessing other individual’s success. Mentally strong individuals are truly happy to witness the success of others. Parents and educators who teach and encourage children to be complementary and excited when they see another child succeed are also teaching children to avoid resentment and jealousy when they see someone else succeeding.
10. Mentally strong children avoid giving up. Teach your child that the greatest hitting baseball player stuck out more than he hit the ball. Abe Lincoln never would have been President of the United States if he felt that he needed to win a congressional seat before he became President. Mr. Lincoln fail to win the vote of the people four times before he won their vote to be President of the greatest country on Earth. Encourage your child to keep going, it ok to fail and failure is just a part of achieving success.
11. Mentally strong children do not fear alone time. Mentally strong adults thrive on personal time for themselves. This alone time is time for self-reflection, building of inner peace and time for personal planning. We need to teach children to put away their cell phones, media connecting tools and constant bombardment of social interaction.
12. Mentally strong children avoid feelings of entitlement. Too many parents, and even some educators, are teaching today’s youth that they are entitled or owed something in life. Many schools teach, “If you get a good education, you will get a good, high paying job.” Positive talk is good as long as our children avoid thinking it’s automatic and owed. Parents and teachers who share with children that no one owes them anything, but anything can come their way when it is earned, are serving the actual truth behind real success.
13. Mentally strong children avoid the expectation of immediate gratification. Children who are taught to expect immediate successful results are often being set up for disappointment. We must teach our children that success takes time, perseverance and effort.