We may be unintentionally putting our kids in a position of feeling anxious instead of resilient which is too important not to talk about.
A recent article in Psychology Today, “10 Reasons Teens Have So Much Anxiety Today” highlights why our kids are facing anxiety and it’s root causes. I’ve added thoughts on what we can do to make them more resilient:
1. Electronics provide an escape from dealing with things kids don’t want to tackle.
Try This: Remind your kids that any challenging situation in life dealing with it head-on is the way to building resilience, not hiding from our problems. Escaping challenges also leaves teens lacking healthy coping skills.
2. Happiness is an epidemic as our kids see all the best of our lives posted online which sets an unrealistic expectation that is how life is, and it’s not.
Try This: Have a discussion with your kids about what they see online is not always reality. Striving for perpetual happiness to match what we see online is not healthy for anyone much less our kids who are not fully mentally developed.
3. Praising our kids too much can have the unintended consequence of putting pressure on them to keep-up with the label.
Try This: I think the important thing here is to certainly praise but leave off the “you’re better than other kids at…” Giving them confidence from praise is so good for them but the expectation that they must always be the best at x, y or z is not.
4. Protecting rather than guiding our kids. We all want everything for our kids but doing everything for them and intervening too much can leave them without the tools to be the adults we know they can be.
Try this: Let kids face the challenges and offer guidance rather than do it for them. Maybe it’s helping them strategize what to do with a classmate who isn’t being kind to them.
In summary let’s be careful not inadvertently create an environment that fosters anxiety in our kids rather than resilience. And while we can’t prevent all anxiety disorders we can do a better job build their mental muscle to truly enjoy life.
Read the full article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/do/201711/10-reasons-teens-have-so-much-anxiety-today