Stress-Free Discipline

Simple Strategies for Handling Common Behavior Problems

 Stress-Free Discipline

Authors: Sara Au, Peter L. Stavinoha
Pub Date: April 2015
Print Edition: $14.95
Print ISBN: 9780814449097
Page Count: 240
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814449103

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How to Instill Resilience in Your Child

How to Instill Resilience in Your Child

Characterized by the ability to keep striving for success despite setbacks and under stress, resilience is a valuable quality for anyone to possess. While partly shaped by a person’s temperament, resilience—or grit, as some call it—is also a skill that can be learned and practiced through childhood to become a hallmark of adulthood. Grit and resilience affect a child’s behavior in many positive ways. In their new book, STRESS-FREE DISCIPLINE (AMACOM; April 2015), parenting journalist Sara Au and pediatric neuropsychologist Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D., both parents, offer the following pointers for nurturing resilience and grit in your child:

Let your child experience failure. Without failure, there can never be a successful comeback. By protecting kids from failure, we rob them of the growth potential that comes from picking themselves back up after getting knocked down and pushing on towards their goal. Being open to the possibility of failure and not letting it scare you, or them, provides kids with vital learning opportunities. A child who has learned how to handle failure exhibits better behavior in many arenas. Tip: Don’t always let them win at board games. You don’t have to be a cutthroat property developer in Monopoly or attempt manifest destiny in Risk, but once your kids understand the game, play them for real.

Have confidence and use praise. Communicating confidence stems from attentive parenting. Unlike hovering helicopter parenting, attentive parenting conveys sureness of a child’s ability to handle herself and ensures that the child can ask for help when needed. But we all know that our kids aren’t good at everything. No one is. While communicating confidence in your children, it’s important to help them keep it all in perspective. Support your children to try, to succeed or to fail, and then, if they choose, to try again. Tip: Praise your child’s contributions to her own success—with an emphasis on reinforcing her efforts. Hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to take risks and cope with mistakes—that’s what your child has control over, and for which she should be praised.

Problem-solve like a role model. Locking your keys in the car…Having to fix the TV settings that have gotten messed up…Putting together a birthday present with lots of pieces… During moments such as these, you’re building your child’s sense of problem-solving skills. If you overreact to your own mistakes and setbacks, your child is more likely to fear making mistakes and start avoiding risks. Takeaway: Kids mimic the behaviors they see in you. When faced with frustrating challenges, take a deep breath and role-model thoughtfulness, ingenuity, patience, stick-to-itiveness, and asking for help when needed.

Adapted from STRESS-FREE DISCIPLINE: Simple Strategies for Handling Common Behavior Problems by Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D. (AMACOM; April 2015; $14.95 Paperback; ISBN: 978-0-8144-4909-7; also available as an eBook).

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