Parents raising resilient, socially intelligent kids, do 5 things in ‘tough times’

We all want to improve elastic, convinced and socially intelligent kids. As a psychologist specializing in adolescent development, I find that the key is for parents to provide reassurance starting at an early age.

Sometimes children, especially teenagers and young adults need recognition that what they are thinking and feeling is normal and okay. In fact, Psychologists believe That validation is one of the most powerful parenting tools, but it’s often left out of traditional behavioral parenting programs.

Validating your child’s feelings doesn’t necessarily mean you condone or agree with the actions they take. It simply shows that you hear, understand, and accept them. This can help teach them to effectively label their own emotions and be more attuned to their social environment, thereby increasing their emotional intelligence.

Here’s how successful parents convey these important messages during tough times:

1. They normalize the experience

Friendships help children develop important life skills such as getting along with others and resolving conflicts. But no friendship is perfect.

Remind your child that every friendship has its ups and downs. In long-term relationships, close friends are sometimes inevitably frustrated, irritated, or disruptive.

If your child is receptive, talk to them about the same social pains that their sister, cousin, or friend endured at their age. These stories are undeniable proof that they are not alone and should not be embarrassed.

2. They provide physical comfort

Unless your child is startled to the touch, physical comfort can be more immediate and impactful than any verbal reassurance.

Learn many times have found benefits of interpersonal contact. For example, be hugged can lower blood pressure and provide a sense of care and safety.

Let’s say your child is upset about something. Before saying a word, you may want to rub their back, hug, or hold their hand. A 5th grader once told her mother, “When I’m sad, I just need you to give me a big hug and say, ‘Yeah, that sucks. It’s horrible.'”

Not starting a conversation right away also gives your child time to prepare to talk about their distress.

3. They teach that quality over quantity

Tweens often measure their self-worth by the number of friends they have. They haven’t realized that the quality of the relationships is more important. One study found that teenagers with more – but more superficial – friends at school became more anxious at a younger age.

Plus, contrary to what most kids think, being famous doesn’t alleviate loneliness. Fame, a social status promoted by the exercise of power through rumours and rumors, is inherently unstable and therefore difficult to maintain.

Assure your child that they don’t need hundreds of friends, on social media or in real life. A few are enough, as long as they are loyal, trustworthy and supportive.

Research proves that along with peer acceptance, at least one strong, healthy friendship predicts both good academic performance and psychological well-being (e.g., high self-esteem and less anxiety).

4. They focus on the positives

I often see kids focus on a slight or social disappointment, which in that moment appears larger and more pressing than all the positives in their lives.

While empathizing with your child’s grief, refocusing their attention on their most recent accomplishments and joys will help them appreciate the bigger and brighter picture.

5. They provide hope

Tell your child that although they are going through a tough time right now, it won’t last forever. Everything will be fine. This is not a majority. Social situations will change because children will change.

They just need to be patient while they and their friends mature. For example, if they’re trying to change their friendships, remind them that turning things around takes time. But for now, what they can control is how they act in socially challenging situations.

Studies of high school students demonstrate the value of social hope. In one study, freshmen were asked to read a short brain science paper about how personality can change. They then read anecdotes that their seniors wrote about finally learning to humble themselves and move on from peer conflicts.

Finally, the group was asked to write encouraging tips for younger students.

After intense conversations, the intervention group had 10% lower cortisol levels than the control group, suggesting that students who read the inspirational information coped better. At the end of the school year, these freshmen were 40% less likely to be depressed and scored higher than the control students.

Roni Cohen-Sandler, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, author, and licensed speaker specializing in adolescent women and girls issues, mother-child relationships, parental guidance, and assessment. psychological price. She has been printed in many major newspapers including The New York Times, Newsweek, Marie Claire and Teen Vogue. Along with her husband, she splits her time between Connecticut and Los Angeles.

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