Being Dad Family Parenting

Setbacks: how to help your children overcome them

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Sometimes your children will experience failure. But you can help them through it with this advice.

Last night the Italy football team failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958. Talk about setbacks. With this in mind, how do you help you child when they face their own setbacks?

Don’t save your child. Guide them

The next time they come home upset because the other kids wouldn’t let them join in their games, ask them how it made then feel. Then ask how they might change the situation next time. “Really get him brainstorming,” says Vickie Falcone, author of You Can’t Make Me: How to Parent With More Connecting and Less Correcting. “The more possible solutions he can come up with, the better.”

Help them set realistic goals

Kids sometimes find it hard to the leap from a world where their every want is satisfied into the real world. For example. Help them understand what is possible and what can’t be changed. Teaching them delayed gratification and the reality that we don’t always get what we want is important in their maturation.

Encourage them to persevere

Telling your child that they will survive their disappointment today, but they can achieve their goals tomorrow by learning from their mistakes and persevering is important. Telling them that setbacks are normal and can be overcome will help then learn that it’s okay to fail.

Keep calm

The adage, “Do as I say, not as I do,” is just an excuse for parents. A lot of learning is acquired through observation and imitation. Being angry when you are disappointed or blaming others when things don’t go your way are actions that your child will probably end up copying. Be a proper role model by showing them how you find unexpected yet positive outcomes out of everything.