It’s difficult as a parents to let our children make their own mistakes, to see them struggle through a difficult situation, all the while knowing that we can help them by simply tying their shoes for them, or pick up the chair that they’re trying to lift on their own…but are we really helping?
Letting your children struggle through hard times (considering that their safety is not compromised) gives them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, and to develop coping mechanisms that will make them resilient towards even harder situations in the future. Children need to know that there are good and bad consequences to any situation, and that it’s OK to experience both. If we always intervene and prevent the “bad consequences” from happening, then we are only making it harder for them in the long-run. For example, when they grow into adulthood, they may not be adaptable to change, or not know how to handle emotionally trying situations. Let them experience the natural consequences of their actions.
A quote that’s often repeated in the hallways of our school, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” This rings true to many Montessori parents and teachers who strive to remain patient, understanding, and observant whenever they see a child struggle to move a heavy object, or try to carry a full pitcher of water from the sink to the hand washing bowl without making a spill. We let them learn through many different types of experiences, and to make their own mistakes. This is the only way our children will develop strong resilience.
This is a great article, written by Chip DeLorenzo, M.ED., AMS certified Montessori educator, Head of school at the Damariscotta Montessori School in Nobleboro, Main, and Certified Positive Discipline Trainer, discussing ways that parents can foster an environment that caters to the child’s need to build resilience through every situation they experience.
To read the article in full, click on the link below:
5 ways to help children develop resilience:
- Allow your child to experience natural consequences
- Use reflective listening to help your child learn from their experiences
- Use encouragement vs. praise
- Embrace and allow your child to struggle from a young age
- Comfort hurt feelings or hurt body with validation rather than fixing