Sep 27, 2018

Tools to overcome the stress of exams

Time flies when we’re having fun and before we know it, the terms almost over and the exams begin to rear their ugly heads! At this time, many students may feel a sense of dread or anxiety, because with exams comes a lot of pressure and absolutely no fun and games. Parents may also feel the same way following a somewhat relaxed and smooth semester. With increased pressure, and academic demands, exam time is bound to get very stressful. However, with a little preparation and understanding of what to expect, parents can help their children cope with exam-time easily. Here are 5 tips to get you started:

Create Routines

When your child’s environment is disorganised or lacks structure, stress and anxiety tend to increase because nothing is predictable and no one knows what to expect. Create a routine that includes the basic building blocks of physical health – regular sleep, meals and exercise. Next, build in P.O.D (Play, Others, Downtime) into their schedules instead of just packing it with academic activities. Having a purposeful schedule at home can act as a guide and give some sense of order to reduce anxiety. When your child is healthy and relaxed, she will be more likely to do well during her examinations.

Watch for Warning Signs of Stress

According to Dr. Shimi Kang, children do not usually tell parents that they are stressed. However, they may act up by displaying physical and mental signs, consciously or unconsciously. These signs can include complaints of headaches, tummy aches, tiredness, distractibility, irritability, crying spells and general unwellness. When this happens, parents ought to investigate to see if the complaint is a manifestation of stress or not. Dr. Kang also added that it is important to recognise the child’s feelings and behaviour and help the child discuss what’s happening and why, which brings us to our next point.

Empathise First, Then Problem-Solve

Before jumping into advice-giving, pause to listen to your child’s concerns.
Ask yourself, “What is she worried about?” Why does she expect that to happen?” Hold yourself back from judging and let your child share about what’s on her mind. When you can understand your child’s troubles, develop a coping plan with them. When children are stressed, they doubt their ability to cope. Address what’s bothering them by brainstorming together and creating an actionable plan with concrete solutions. Think about worst case scenarios together and coach your child on how to cope and analyse both real and imagined stressful situations.

Use Positive Coping Statements

Teach and encourage your child to master the power of positive self-talk. Studies have shown that positive coping statements can help us cope through stressful moments. When your child is able to use positive words to lift themselves up, they become their own personal motivational coach. Make this a fun activity by creating “Coping Cards” with your child. Ask them to write down a variety of positive coping statements to help them through the difficult times of exam preparation. They can carry it in their pocket or bag to help remind themselves.

Below are some examples of coping statements:

  • Stop, and breathe, I can do this
  • This will pass
  • I can be anxious/angry/sad and still deal with this
  • I have done this before, and I can do it again
  • I’m stronger than I think
  • I will learn from this experience, even if it seems hard to understand right now
  • This is difficult and uncomfortable, but it is only temporary
  • I choose to see this challenge as an opportunity
  • I can learn from this and it will be easier next time
  • Keep calm and carry on

Communicate with the School

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is usually one of the most commonly overlooked ways to manage stress. Speak with your child’s teachers, principal and other relevant school staff about your concerns and ask if they can assist in any way possible. Before doing so, it is important to ask your child for her opinion because some children may be self-conscious and so it is necessary to talk to your child about your intentions first. If you think that you have applied every technique possible and still find yourself at wits’ end, working with the school counsellor to discuss more alternatives may be useful. Besides, counsellors can also help you identify an underlying mental health disorder, that may need professional help in order to get treated.

Having exams just around the corner can be overwhelming and it is normal for our child to have some worries and concerns. However, it is important for them to attend school regularly and learn to face their fears head on. Not doing so will only increase stress and anxiety because in not doing so, your child is avoiding her worries and not taking the opportunity to problem-solve them. Model proactiveness as a parent and teach your child life-long lessons of resilience and adaptability!

Storytelling-Narrative Play

Besides improving children’s sense of well-being and self-identity, storytelling plays an essential role to children in understanding their environment. Through listening to stories, they learn to understand the differences to others’ feelings, culture, backgrounds, and experiences. When children can create their own stories, they also show better divergent thinking. Try coming up with a beginning of a story and let your child think and explore as much as they can. If they get stuck or repetitive, suggest one or two ideas on what can happen next.

Creative Play

Children start developing their creativity in role-playing and pretend play, and when they do, they are able to imagine new ways or ideas about doing things that can add function and progress to lives in future. When you are with your child, stimulate creative ideas by encouraging them to come up with new and unusual uses of everyday items, art materials or toys. Try to remain open and curious to new and original ideas, and encourage children to come up with more than one solution or answer.

Play is in the Everyday

Play offers connection, bonding, and co-operation. Opportunities for play can happen everyday with common daily activities. The quality of time spent with your child is the factor that makes a difference. As Lawrence J. Cohen, author of Playful Parenting puts it, you need to be “tuned in” to your child’s needs and wants. Give your child your full attention and follow their lead by letting them direct and control the pace of the play. Relax and have fun while being in the moment with them. Whether it’s baking cookies together, or washing a car, it’s the spirit of playfulness that we bring to daily activities that turns the mundane into play.

Sep 11, 2018

The Power of Positive Mindset

Having a positive mindset has a bigger impact on performance than what researchers have
expected. A recent study by Stanford University found something surprising. Researchers
observed the brains of students to understand how attitude influence achievement, and it turns
out that having a positive outlook on learning, plays an equally important role as IQ.

When children do well in tests, they would naturally enjoy the subject more and feel more
confident about it. However, the study has shown that the other way around — starting off with
an expectation that they will like the subject and are capable in it, can help their brains to
problem-solve better and improve their achievement too.

How do we as parents, help children foster more positive mindsets towards a subject or their
potential then? Here are some suggestions:

Be self-aware

To help children establish a positive mindset, we have to develop one ourselves. When parents
or teachers respond to children’s struggles and mistakes with “anxiety or over-concern”, they
unknowingly teach children to fear failure and prevent them from learning from trial and error.
First of all, make an effort to recognise your own unhelpful or self-defeating thinking , e.g., an
overemphasis on getting things right, trying to please everyone, or fear of losing out (to name a
few). Secondly, be conscious about making a choice in shifting your negative thinking by
reminding yourself to strive for progress rather than perfection. Model a positive mindset in your
lifestyle and interactions with your child and he will learn its true value.

mindset

Praising appropriately

Don’t praise your children for being smart. Research by psychologist Carol Dweck has shown
that by doing so, it can cause children to be fearful of taking risks or pursuing tough goals that
might make them feel vulnerable and less intelligent. Praise them for making effort by saying,
“I’m proud that you tried really hard!” or “You really practiced that, and look how you’ve
improved!”

Take advantage of mistakes

Build your child’s resilience by instilling in them a belief that our mental capabilities are not fixed
and can be improved with effort. When your child makes mistakes, tell them that they are giving
their brains opportunity for growth. So if your child comes back to you with a D on his math test,
respond with something like, “What did you do?”, “what can we do next?” Don’t just tell your
child to try harder, offer strategies or skills to overcome a challenging task.

mindset-2

mindset-3

Use the word “yet”

Instead of saying “I can’t play basketball or I can’t do multiplication,” adding a “yet” to the end of
the sentences changes their meaning and promotes growth and opportunity. The word “yet”
gives children more confidence and lead them on a path that encourages persistence. By
saying “yet”, it leaves possibilities open instead of just saying “I can’t”.This simple linguistic trick
implies that children will master these skills eventually with time and practice.

Find meaning in things that happen

Help your child bounce back from disappointments by encouraging them to talk about their
emotions and make meaning of the events that happened to them. Life is unpredictable and
filled with ups and downs, and by nurturing spirituality, we can find direction and hope during
difficult times. Connecting with nature, meditating, sharing stories, creating something or helping
others in need are some ways to develop spirituality, which can give a greater purpose to life.

mindset-4

mindset-5

Express gratitude

There are so many benefits to having an attitude of gratitude and one of them is helping us to
develop a positive outlook. Teach your child to see the positives in everyday life, no matter how
big or small. At dinner or bedtime, share stories with each other about the simple pleasures of
your day. Create a “gratitude journal” together as a family by gluing pictures from magazines,
drawing or writing down things everyone is grateful for. These activities do not only build close
relationships, they also can create a positive environment at home.

Having a positive mindset is one of the most important strengths for building resilience, which
can eventually bring greater success and happiness in life. When children learn to perceive a
difficulty as a manageable one, it makes them feel more confident and gives them hope.
Besides, it also acts as a shield from anxiety, depression and poor health. Teaching your child
how to respond to problems positively can make all the difference. Try to find the cup half full
and be on the lookout for the bright side — your kids will also do the same.

Positive people don’t just have a good day; they make it a good day. People who think positively usually see endless possibilities.

-Richard Branson

Aug 27, 2018

Teaching Kids Life Skills

With only a few more weeks of summer holidays, what are some important areas that parents can focus on before their kids head back to school? Dr. Shimi Kang explains the importance of life skills and how to teach them. Watch on BT Vancouver.

Aug 25, 2018

7 Ways to Engage Your Child in Everyday Play

The “P” in Dolphin Kids’ P.O.D.  stands for PLAY! Why is play important? From learning problem-solving skills, to creative thinking, processing emotions and building resilience, play offers great opportunities for growth and parent-child bonding.

Children love to play and have an endless capacity for play. However, parents’ ability or willingness for play may not be as consistent. Sometimes, after a long day of work and chores, getting down on the floor to play dollhouse with your child or going outdoors for physically active game may seem exhausting. But the truth is, play does not have to last long and it can also be part of everyday life.

According to Dr. Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute for Play, there are 7 different types of play that accomplishes different benefits. Here are its definitions and some tips to get your started:

Attunement Play

Communication with your child happens all the time, and a large percentage of what we perceive in communication is non-verbal signals. Eye contact, facial expressions, tone of voice and bodily gestures can be easily sensed by your child as to whether or not you are genuinely interested in them.
Attunement play is therefore the foundation of all forms of play and can be used in all kinds of interactions with your child. Respond to your child’s actions by mirroring her movements and expressions, make up a song or do a dance with the action. Enter into your child’s world and show that you are listening and understanding him/her.

social-play

Social Play

Social play helps children establish social norms. Play with parents set the stage for children’s ability to successfully play with others. Strive for an even distribution of power — Be careful not to take over and give too many directions when playing with your child. Likewise, it is also important not to let your child boss you around. When we allow children to dominate us in play, to be inattentive to our needs and desires, we may, in fact, be turning them into spoiled brats. Cooperate with your child in play by sharing a common goal and having complementary roles, e.g., fixing a jigsaw puzzle, building a bridge with blocks, making art, baking/cooking together.

Pretend Play

Imaginative and pretend play is where creativity begins. Playing the pirate, doctor or teacher — acting out stories which involve multiple perspectives and determining ideas and emotions, pretend play can help children to create their own sense of their mind, and that of others. If make-believe play is not something you feel comfortable doing, try talking to your child regularly explaining features about nature and social issues, or read to your child at bedtime instead.

pretendplay

movement-play

Movement Play

Leaping in the air teaches us the effects of gravity. Dance teaches us the various ways that our bodies can move. Movement play helps us think spatially, and the physical exertion and effort to get a movement right fosters adaptability and resilience. Chase games, hide and seek, tickles, and rough-housing games make children laugh, scream and sweat — which can help release pent-up stress hormones that they would otherwise have to tantrum to discharge.

Object Play

Object play allows children to explore the functions of objects and develop tools. By manipulating objects such as building blocks, puzzles, cars, dolls, etc., object play allows children to try out new combinations of actions, and may help develop problem solving skills. Sometimes, object play also involves pretend play, e.g., building a house or feeding a doll. Some household items can also serve as fun and interesting objects for play, as long as they are safe.

object-play

storytelling

Storytelling-Narrative Play

Besides improving children’s sense of well-being and self-identity, storytelling plays an essential role to children in understanding their environment. Through listening to stories, they learn to understand the differences to others’ feelings, culture, backgrounds, and experiences. When children can create their own stories, they also show better divergent thinking. Try coming up with a beginning of a story and let your child think and explore as much as they can. If they get stuck or repetitive, suggest one or two ideas on what can happen next.

Creative Play

Children start developing their creativity in role-playing and pretend play, and when they do, they are able to imagine new ways or ideas about doing things that can add function and progress to lives in future. When you are with your child, stimulate creative ideas by encouraging them to come up with new and unusual uses of everyday items, art materials or toys. Try to remain open and curious to new and original ideas, and encourage children to come up with more than one solution or answer.

creative-play

play-everyday

Play is in the Everyday

Play offers connection, bonding, and co-operation. Opportunities for play can happen everyday with common daily activities. The quality of time spent with your child is the factor that makes a difference. As Lawrence J. Cohen, author of Playful Parenting puts it, you need to be “tuned in” to your child’s needs and wants. Give your child your full attention and follow their lead by letting them direct and control the pace of the play. Relax and have fun while being in the moment with them. Whether it’s baking cookies together, or washing a car, it’s the spirit of playfulness that we bring to daily activities that turns the mundane into play.

Aug 17, 2018

Communication Skills Activities

We live in a world where digital media is moving at an unfathomable pace. It is slowly impacting the way we express ourselves, interact with others and manage our relationships. In the age of Facebook, WhatsApp etc. – increasingly becoming the most frequented interface for building and establishing rapports with people around, the role and importance of face-to-face communication seems to be diminishing completely! Many research studies have shown that to do well in today’s fast-paced, highly social, ultra-competitive, and globally connected world our future generation needs skills such as- Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity & Contribution. These core skills comprise Consciousness Quotient (CQ) which is becoming the ultimate determinant for success in adulthood, because it is with the help of this tool that individuals can gain complete access to other facets of their development such as Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Intelligence Quotient (IQ). CQ can be best described as the impervious catalyst to personality development for kids.

At an alarming juncture where one can have all the raw intelligence in the world but if one is unable to express their thoughts effectively they’re seen as “lagging”, we at Dolphin POD strive to foster and build 21st century skills in children for a future fit tomorrow. We not only understand and boost effective communication skills and strategies through various forms of activities, as effective communication is known to lead to success-related outcomes. They’re also mentored individually to gauge a better understanding of the importance of these communication skills activities and the positive impact of an amalgamation of digital media and in-person meaningful interactions. Communicating about thoughts and feelings strengthens children’s empathy, emotional regulation and positive relationship management. They learn to question everything and have a passion for challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries. Through activities such as balloon tower building, loop-da-loop, octopus tag etc. that call for collaborative functioning and cooperative dialogue, children learn to be mindful of the way they ‘deal with the world’ invigorating adults who are more resilient, adaptable and confident

Aug 02, 2018

Meditation for Kids

The need for meditative practice and/or mindfulness for children was an unheard-of concept until a few years back. The sudden influx in academic pressure with a need to balance that with their social and emotional needs, changed the way the world functioned before. Taking a toll over the young and unbent minds of the innocent. We can seek solace in this situation with the thought that humans are the only species who have the ability to pay attention to their surroundings and breathe deeply, no matter how far they travel, how much trouble they are in, or how busy they are- humans never fail to remember, to notice their surroundings.

Deep, controlled breathing is the first and most powerful key to self-awareness and self-control. Breathing is completely instinctive but breathing deeply is voluntary and can be controlled. We at Dolphin POD strive to guiding children towards mindful, deep, controlled breathing offering them a lifelong tool for when they feel stress, upset, worried, anxious, angry and just out of control. We not only work on providing them the emotional vocabulary but also the means to channelize their negative feelings through positives self-expression. Meditation or mindfulness for kids will help them regulate their bodies and mind and help build problem-solving and critical thinking abilities as well. Mindfulness takes us off auto-pilot and make us more fully alive and aware, bringing the attention back to our internal processes such as feeling and thinking combined with external responses such as touching, hearing, tasting or smelling! Being mindful is known to improve focus, sleep, concentration and performance; increase in creativity and most importantly- establish a connect with oneself and others. And what easier way to be mindful is to simply breathe, deeply!?

Jun 26, 2018

The Role of Mother’s: Insights and tips on how mothers contribute to social-emotional-cognitive (SEC) learning

Mothers are most often the primary caregiver who support their children’s physical, emotional, mental and social development. As such, it is no surprise that mothers play a significant role in every aspect of their children’s growth. We at Dolphin Under 5 want to recognize and strengthen the maternal role and relationship that contribute to social-emotional-cognitive (SEC) learning in their children.

Children often take reference from their mothers when it comes to the expression, understanding and coping with emotions. Even early in infancy, your child can already express themselves emotionally through their body language, vocalizations and facial expressions. When mothers respond with positive emotions, infants begin to regulate their emotions and gain a sense of predictability, safety and responsiveness in their environments, that will eventually contribute to a sense of self-confidence as they grow up.

Provide a positive role model of emotional regulation through your behavior and through the verbal and emotional support you offer your child when managing their emotions. Don’t be afraid to apologise to your child if you have lost your cool and reacted in an inappropriate way to a situation. Use feeling words when you talk with children about everyday situations, “You scored a goal! How exciting was that!”; or “It’s pretty disappointing that your friend can’t play with you today.” Invite children to describe their own feelings, “I’m feeling quite nervous about going to the dentist. How about you?”, or “when I am angry, I try to take a few deep breaths to calm down.” Demonstrate and explain to your child how to identify, label and manage emotions in a calm and helpful manner.

When young children are able to experience, express and manage emotions, they are equipped with the ability to establish positive and rewarding social connections with others. Positive emotions enable relationships to form, while struggles with expressing and coping with emotions leads to problems in social relationships. Research has also indicated that a mother’s advice and guidance about peer relationships significantly reduces aggression in boys, while improving girls’ prosocial behaviours, i.e., helping, sharing, caring and collaborating with others. In other words, social competence improves with mother’s coaching and positive responsiveness.

Talk to your child about how people’s feelings, beliefs, wants and intentions to improve your child’s social understanding and empathy. Use TV shows, movies or story books to talk to your child about what the characters may be feeling as a result of what others do. There are also many teachable moments available everyday. For example, if you notice your child being refusing to share his toys with a friend, you can say, “That makes him sad when you choose not to share,” instead of just saying, “stop it,” or “don’t do that”.

Research has shown that a mother’s EF, e.g., short-term memory, self-control, and cognitive flexibility contribute to their child’s development of EF.  In other words, high level cognitive tasks, including planning, problem solving and decision-making are essentially EF. For example, when a child shows an undesirable behavior, a mother has to use her EF skills to focus on relevant information, control her response in the presence of her own stress, plan and act as necessary according to situational demands. Rather than having negative or hasty reactions, she has to analyse the various situations through logic and emotions to plan and make decisions.

Besides role-modelling EF skills as a parent, you can teach and encourage your child to develop their own plans as they encounter new experiences –  for everything from celebrations (e.g., creating a plan to make a birthday fun and meaningful) to the most difficult of life’s challenges (e.g., creating a plan to remember the loss of a loved one). Let them practice writing out their plans, and then trying to execute and when necessary, adjust their plans. Set a few guidelines and try to allow them to explore as much as possible (Be a DOLPHIN Parent!) without overly correcting them or imposing your ideas on them. This way, children are given opportunities to integrate the key systems of the brain that boosts EF.

From the above, we caught a glimpse into how each aspect of SEC development in young children are supported by their relationship with their mothers. However, because mothers have such great influence on her child’s well-being, they too, feel often blamed for the way the child turns out. As such, mothers carry the burden of the responsibility of caregiving, which includes the struggle of dealing with expectations from themselves and others. Therefore, it is always important to remember that as a parent, you are also every bit as human and hence, will make mistakes from time to time. Children do not need to grow up in a “perfect” environment, rather they need to experience, understand and learn from how you adapt to problems and deal with your struggles too.

Mar 31, 2018

Becoming a Successful Parent through Future Fit Learning

Contemporary parenting is hard! Bombarded with expert advices & societal expectations, we have an ‘information overload’ because of an increased access to understanding how others parent. Just when we think we’ve got it ‘right’ someone will cast doubt into our minds, because what is right for some is not right for others. Indeed, the responsibility of raising healthy, happy, successful future-fit children can sometimes feel overwhelming for parents.

Add to this the fact that the dynamics of education, learning, work and living is changing. It may be a truism that the future will be different, but with rapid development of artificial intelligence and digital systems in the 21st Century, I see no reason to not believe that almost every aspect of our children’s lives will be different to ours.

So, when we know that the future of work & life is going to look very different, why not be ready for it? Why not prepare our children to be future-fit?

With a vision to transform learning and raising future-ready kids, at Dolphin POD key 21st century skills like Creativity, Critical thinking, Communication, Contribution & Collaboration are delivered with an aim to make personal and professional achievement easier.

Through their research-based activities, it’s not only children who cultivate these 5 critical life skills to be future fit, but also Parents get ample opportunities to be successful in raising children who are future ready. Here’s how:

 

 

  1. Match your Parenting style to your child’s personality

A critical aspect of parenting is matching various strategies with your child’s needs, like discipline, praise etc. Naturally, most parents try to understand these ‘needs’ of their children, but it’s not always easy to figure out, especially when behavioural, emotional and social ingredients (read: problems) come into the picture. POD sessions, conducted at Dolphin POD, that focus on essential 21st century skills and cover collaborative play and interactive activities help parents know how best to stimulate their child’s intellectual, social and emotional development and manage common parenting issues.

 

  1. Learn how to Engage with your child

 

Families today face increasing time pressures with both parents working, and more expectations on children to perform at school (not to forget the added distractions of technology). Well, welcome to modern parenting! With budgeted time and limited opportunities, an effective way of helping our children to be future ready is by understanding how to maintain a constructive engagement with them. From learning through exploring to connecting with each other to relaxing & recharging, POD sessions can help you learn explore the broader horizon in your child’s learning curve and will let you get more involved in your child’s learning experience.

  1. Gain Confidence

 

Let’s face it- being a parent requires a whole lot of mustering courage. In fact, confidence is crucial to good parenting. And it is equally critical in raising future-fit children. Through research-based activities conducted at Dolphin POD, as a Parent you get confidence in the exposure and activities your child experiences, so you can telegraph that confidence to kids.

 

  1. Stay updated of the latest Research

 

As a busy parent, it can be hard to stay up-to-date on the latest scientific findings, but it’s so important to learn what you should be doing to set your children future ready. Research findings, scientific discoveries etc. pave path for good parenting skills and help finding answers.

At Dolphin POD, the 90-minute POD sessions are coupled with one-on-one sessions with parents to keep them updated not just about their child’s performance but also helps Parents stay abreast of discoveries and latest findings. One not only gets to learn about best parenting practices from experts but also get a chance to ask them their parenting concerns and questions.

Over the years, one thing has remained same when it comes to Parenting: there is immense pressure to keep up with the unrealistic and often unhealthy expectations that we, as parents, put on ourselves and feel from others. Some of these pressures have always been a part of the parenting journey, but there continues to be more and more pressure bombarding parents today.

Now amidst all this, wouldn’t it be comforting to have someone’s undivided attention, especially when you’re pouring out your heart and unpacking all the layers. With the age-specific after-school activities offered at Dolphin POD, you can be assured of your child’s development in the right environment and ideal direction to grow up as healthy, happy and successful adults of the 21st century.

 

To know more on this, ‘click here’.

 

Mar 06, 2018

Ways to help kids overcome fear of failure

 

You have cooed, cuddled and coddled your babies since birth and raised them with tags like Superman or Power Puff Girl. Well, to every parent their child is the winner!

But then there comes the time of reality check- your little one is growing up, getting familiar with the school of hard knocks. From not winning fancy dress competition to failing getting a grip on the bicycle

to forgetting his lines at the school play…It’s hard to see your little champ fail & get hurt.

As parents, we want to protect our children from anyone or anything that could cause them pain: illness, injury, hurtful words or situations. In a way, we don’t want them to feel the pain associated with failing because we know how it feels. As an over-protective loving parent you want nothing more than to intervene and make his troubles go away. However, we also know that the best lessons in life are learned through experience. If we don’t let them fall, how will they learn how to get back up? And if we don’t let them fail, how will they learn to pick themselves up and try again?

The process of making and learning from mistakes is an extremely valuable life skill because learning involves risking. Every time children risk, they will not always be right. But, because they’ve tried something new, there’s always the chance they will succeed. Each new success enhances self-esteem. Each esteem-enhancing experience refuels their desire to try again and again and again.

 

Going back to our own childhood, I am sure you would agree that fear of failure ties down the mind. It makes a child mentally weak and tired. In fact, it can make them incapable of achieving anything in life, even though they are capable of reaching the highest levels of success.

But then avoiding failure in life is almost impossible, right?

So how can we as parents help erase the idea that ‘mistakes are bad’? How can we maintain that thin line between protecting our kids from pain and teaching them to handle it; between supporting them where they are and challenging them to stretch themselves; between encouraging them to ‘play to win’ and preparing them to handle failure.

 

 

  1. Redefine the Meaning of failure

Instead of making it sound big, scary and end-of-life kind of situation, show your children that failure is more about self-development than about defeat. Start drilling this into them from an early age, so that it’s the rule rather than the exception in their books. Introduce the concept of ‘trial & error’ and ‘learning & adapting’ in every activity kids indulge in, whether it’s sports, art, music, learning to eat, writing, talking and walking.

How about defining failure as ‘not trying’? As Parents one can stress upon the fact that the only way to fail is to not try. As parents of today, redefine the meaning of failure for kids as-

  • Cheating, lying, not taking responsibility for themselves is failure.
  • Not giving their best effort or not doing what is in their interest is failure.
  • Looking out for short cuts to do work or getting influenced by peer pressure Is failure.
  • Disrespecting elders, not being empathetic to others and being selfish is failure.

 

  1. Encourage self-sufficiency
    Today’s overprotective, failure-avoiding parenting has undermined the competence, independence and academic potential of an entire generation. I’m as guilty as most of you- I’ve extended my children’s dependence in order to feel good about my parenting. Something as basic as lacing up their shoes to packing their school bag sends the message to your child that they’re slow and incompetent. So instead of being a savior, be a guide for your child. This will build self-confidence and bring happiness when one is able to see one’s achievements through trying and learning from mistakes or obtaining what was deemed impossible.
  1. Develop the concept of “Plan B”

Let’s face it- one of the inevitable facts of life is that everyone makes mistakes. But we know that there always exists a worst-case scenario. Start practicing this with your child. Sit and brainstorm together for “what if” situations. Ask them questions- “What if you fumble while reciting the poem…or miss the goal, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”. Eventually kids learn the skill of handling a situation with aseveral possible ways out.

  1.  Encourage Positive Self-talk

Fear of failure is a psychological phenomenon. In such a case, encouraging and positive words help raise self-confidence and motivation. That works like nutritious tonic to your children. If you notice your child is very tense and concerned about making mistakes, help him/her learn to say inside his/her head a positive, affirming statement such as ‘I am calm and in control’ or ‘I will try my best’. The more your child says the statement, the more he/she will begin to believe it.

More Self-talk phrases can be: “I can do it”; “I am capable”; “I have the ability”; “I am as good as my classmates”.

  1.  Have Conversations about Success and Failure of Famous Personalities

    Did you know Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers? Well, look around and you would see the most successful adults are rarely those whose childhood were one long string of victories, accolades and gold stars. Rather they’re people who’ve had their share of bumps, bruises and battles along their path to adulthood. With grit, confidence and clear vision, they stretched and went beyond failures to pursue their dreams. Talk about such personalities with your kids. See documentaries, TED Talks and make them believe that failure is an event not a person.Have Conversations about Success and Failure of Famous Personalities

As parents, we’re wired with an inbuilt desire to protect our children from the harder realities of life whether the sting of rejection or the disappointment of failure. But left unchecked, this can deprive them from learning the most important life skill, and one they will inevitably need: how to find the courage and motivation to get back up. So how do you help kids fail, or rather, how do you help kids deal with fear of failure?

When learning a new skill, like public speaking or playing chess, there are many steps children may find difficult to execute. If we allow them to struggle and let them fail, we may be surprised to discover they can find a solution themselves. At Dolphin POD, the activities are designed to provide an appropriate level of challenge. Activities that shouldn’t frustrate children and offer a balanced approach towards learning with elements of Play (P), Others (O) & Downtime (D). This gives them a sense of accomplishment they can be proud of and can call their own.

The more children try, fail, and try again, the more they will learn how to solve problems, overcome adversity and to deal with failure; all critical life skills that will be needed to grow up as happy, healthy and successful beings.

By RoopikaSareen (Parenting blogger- Go Mommy)