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25 Ways Effective Parents Save Their Kids From Future Heartbreak

TristaJune 22, 2021

As parents, one of our main goals is to raise a child who becomes mentally strong. However, you quickly learn that there is little you can do to protect your child from the negatives you find around the world. Thus, you must teach your kids how to handle these challenging situations. It’s vital that you teach them how to grow up to be strong, understand their emotions, practice self-control, and develop empathy. However, to do this, you feel that you have to be mentally and emotionally strong.

That can sometimes be the struggle – feeling that you’re not emotionally and mentally strong enough to raise your child in this manner, especially after the last year. Fortunately, this article is here to tell you that you are mentally strong, and you can use the tips in this article to support your children, so they become mentally strong. Even if you go through this list and realize that you’re not incorporating specific tips, you can start today. It’s never too late to focus on developing a mentally strong mindset for you and your children. 

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25. Spend Quality Time Together

It doesn’t matter what you’re doing with your children; what matters is that you’re taking the time out of your busy day and focusing on them. You could work on a science experiment, watch a movie, have a tea party, or work to learn something new. The goal of quality time is to strengthen the bond with your children. It also helps them develop necessary social skills. 

Your children will benefit in many ways by spending quality time with you, even if they don’t feel this way at the moment. Some of the benefits include developing positive behaviors, improving academic performance, strengthening their self-worth, building self-confidence, and learning how to become a good friend. Another factor of spending quality time together is teaching your children how to compromise on activities they don’t like, so don’t be afraid to compromise on what you will do with your children.

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24. Teach Your Children Mental Health

As a parent, it’s easy to fall into just teaching your children to take care of their bodies. You want to make sure they bathe, brush their teeth correctly, eat healthy, and exercise so they’re less likely to get sick. Parents have been trained to teach their children to take care of their bodies because our parents taught us. Of course, this is an integral part of life.

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to forget to teach your children to take care of their minds just like they take care of their bodies. In fact, this is a tip that mentally strong parents share with their children throughout their lives. They will teach their children about taking a day or two for self-care. They also make it a point to show their children how to complete mental strength exercises and do them together. Furthermore, it’s important to tell your children that it’s okay to reach out for help.

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23. Listen To Your Emotions

This is one of the hardest steps to take as a parent. Of course, it’s easy to listen to and accept a child’s positive emotions. For example, when you see your child smile, you smile, and you notice what makes them happy. They might even open up and talk about what makes them happy because they want to experience more of the emotion, and they know you’ll provide this for them.

However, it’s harder to teach your children to listen to and accept their negative emotions. It’s hard as a parent to see your children struggle with these emotions because all you want to do is help them feel better as quickly as possible. The critical factor to remember is that if your children don’t learn how to manage their negative emotions, they’ll struggle to move past them. They might even start to keep them inside because they are ashamed about how they are feeling. Ensure that your children always know they can talk to you or someone else they trust about anything they are feeling.

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22. Validate Your Children’s Feelings

You know that it’s essential to talk to your children about their negative and positive emotions. Nevertheless, to make them mentally stronger, you need to do more than simply talking about them. You must validate their emotions. While you might feel that your 12-year-old daughter is overdramatic or your toddler overreacts, how they are feeling is what matters. 

Parents who teach their children to be mentally strong teach kids that their feelings are okay. Rather, it’s what they do with those feelings that matter. The key is that this means that you say more than simply, “I understand how you feel.” While this will work at times, if this is all you say over and over, your children will eventually start to tune it out. Therefore, you want to focus on exactly how they are feeling and why. For example, you might say, “It’s okay to feel mad at your friend, but it is not okay to call them a name.” 

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21. Create Catchphrases To Empower

One of the biggest ways to support your child as they develop their mental strength is to find techniques to make them believe in themselves. You want to do more than simply say certain things. You want them to create their own catchphrases. This moment is critical when you hear your child put themselves down. For example, if they get a poor grade in comparison to a friend, they might say, “My friends are smarter than me.”

That is when you want to get down to their level and inform them how smart they are. It is a significant step, but it’s time to step further and make sure your child tells themselves how smart they are. For instance, you might ask them to repeat, “All I can do is try my best.” The trick with catchphrases is to make them short and sweet so your child can remember them. You can also teach them to repeat the phrase over and over if necessary.

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20. Teach Your Children To Be Proactive

We all fall into pity parties time and again. It’s something children naturally do at an early age for several reasons. Maybe they learn it from you, other family members, or friends. Another reason is that they are still developing emotionally, so it’s a way they know how to tell people they are sorry or made a mistake. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to allow them to fall into the “pity party” trap. 

Instead, the best course of action is to help them develop the skills to solve problems proactively. You want to focus on teaching them to change their mindset from “I can’t believe this happened to me” to, “This is what happened, and that’s okay. Now I need to focus on how I can change it or learn from it.” Another reason to help them proactively solve problems is that they will be willing to help their friends and others do the same thing.

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19. Modeling Is One of the Best Tools

If you have kids, you have probably seen them copy what you do, especially if they are younger. For example, they might wash dishes a certain way or pretend to fix something in the house with their play tools. You might notice that your older children tend to follow your actions. For example, you might see that they turn the steering wheel a certain way. Your children watch what you do and listen to what you say. 

You might not always believe it because it seems that all children reach a point where you say something, and it goes one ear and out the other, but they are genuinely listening. Because children learn from modeling at any age, one of the best teaching tools is to keep this in mind. If you want your kids to be more confident in themselves, be confident in yourself, even if you don’t feel it. The way you handle new and challenging tasks will be the same way your children do.

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18. Focus On Happiness 

It doesn’t take a scientist to tell you that you are naturally happier when you feel less stressed. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to eliminate all the stress in your life as a parent. You will feel stressed at many junctures, whether it’s paying bills, driving your children to extracurricular activities, holding a job, making dinner, and keeping your house semi-clean. Carolyn and Philip Cowan, two psychologists at the University of California,  proved that happy parents are more likely to have happy children.

Kei Nomaguchi, a sociologist from Bowling Green State University, found that “Mothers’ stress, especially when juggling work and trying to find time with kids, may be affecting their kids poorly.” Think of it this way: your emotions are contagious for your children. Therefore, when you feel happy and show this, they are more likely to feel and deliver the same sentiment. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you ignore other feelings. You want to teach your children to manage all feelings, negative and positive.

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17. Be An Accepting Parent

We’ve all been there as parents even though we don’t want to admit it. There are days where you want to be left alone. Or you come home after a busy day and want five minutes to breathe before parenting for the rest of the night. While this doesn’t mean you can’t take a minute or two for yourself, it does mean that if your children need you that minute, you need to focus on them. 

As a responsive parent, you’ll react to their problems and needs sensitively, even when they push your buttons. If you need to, take a deep breath before responding so you don’t regret what you say or do later. As an accepting parent, you’ll realize that your children might not like something you do or even act in a way you don’t appreciate. While it’s important to raise children to be respectful, it’s also important to realize that children also go through phases.

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16. Teach Children Coping Skills

In the last several years, there’s been a shift in validating and handling children’s feelings. Many people are trying to normalize that it’s okay to admit when you’re feeling frustrated, scared, angry, or sad. At the same time, people are working to normalize ways to cope with these feelings, so people won’t internalize them, which causes more emotional and mental problems than people care to admit. The trick is when to prompt your children to use coping skills to manage their emotions. 

One of the most traditional ways parents try to tell their children to manage their emotions, especially when parents feel their child is overdramatic or sensitive, is by saying, “calm down.” In reality, this isn’t the best choice of words when asking your children to use a coping skill. The best technique is to find out what makes your children calm down, whether it’s music, a movie, taking deep breaths, or going outside. Once you have a list of coping skills, then focus on helping your children use them when they need to.

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15. Think Realistically

One of the most unique facts about children is that they like to play pretend. It is an integral part of their growth, so you must allow them to play in their own little world. The trouble starts when they repeat statements that aren’t true but think they are actually true. Therefore, what is meant by saying teach your children to think realistically is to make sure they know the difference between a factual statement and something that isn’t true. 

For example, your child is struggling in math and says, “I’ll never understand math.” Of course, your first thought is to make them feel better and tell them that not all math is easy to understand, or to say that they’ll one day understand. While this is fine, it’s more important to tell them that sometimes they need to prove their brain wrong and re-frame the statement more realistically. For instance, “I don’t understand this math problem now, but with help, I will start to understand what we’re doing in math.”

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14. Allow Children To Make Mistakes

Mistakes happen. In fact, you can probably think of a time when you made a mistake recently. It’s a common factor in life, especially for children who are continuously learning something new every day. While you probably want to do everything in your power to stop your children from making mistakes, it’s essential to allow them to do so as this is a great learning tool. However, as the parent, you also need to take the opportunity to teach, so they know what to do next time and won’t make the same mistake twice. 

It’s also important to remember when trying to teach in these situations that you don’t forget that sometimes natural consequences are better. For example, your child knew that their science report was due for over two weeks but waited until the evening before to work on it. They are tired and stressed because they have to complete the whole report in one night. At this moment, you can remind them that they were given the assignment weeks ago and ask them to think about how they can change their actions so it doesn’t happen again.

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13. Support Your Children During Change

Change isn’t easy for anyone. In fact, you might find yourself struggling with changes at work or home. For example, you learn your supervisor is leaving their position, and you’re trying to manage your anxiety about a new one. Whether large or small, you grapple with changes, so imagine how change makes children feel. Naturally, younger children will struggle with change more, even if they seem more adaptable. It doesn’t matter if it’s moving to a new school or not being able to play with friends during the pandemic. Change can be tough. 

When you raise a mentally strong child, they learn to understand that change can help them grow into a stronger person, even if they don’t feel ity right away. Unfortunately, most people don’t talk about how changes make them feel. However, this is an essential part of the puzzle for supporting your child through change. Therefore, when your child is facing change, make sure they understand they can talk to you or someone else about their emotions associated with the change. Always take the time to make sure they know their feelings and put a name to them like sad or mad.

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12. Stay Away From A Power Struggle

The old-fashioned parent vs. child power struggle. It’s so easy to find yourself in the middle of this with one or all of your children without even realizing how you got to that point. The power struggle is when both of you are trying to gain some kind of imaginary edge over the other. Usually, parents are the first to throw out the “what I say goes” card becaus they are the parent, and they think the child is supposed to listen to everything they say. In reality, giving your children a measure of power can help them grow and become mentally strong. 

Mentally strong parents understand that while they need to take control, they also understand that sometimes their children need to be in control. The reality is, every time you engage in a power struggle with your child, you become quick to frustration or anger, and your children get more power over you than you realize. Therefore, it’s better to take a moment to breathe so you can think clearly and then address the situation calmly and rationally. For example, help your children develop an answer that’s safe and adequate for their age and status. 

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11. Encourage Them to Try New Things

It’s easy to allow your children to get out of something new, especially when you see them struggle with anxiety about the outcome. However, always allowing them to get out of trying new things isn’t building their mental strength. Even though it’s hard to encourage your children to stick to the sports, they’re trying out for the season or pick up an instrument in the band for a year. You must make sure they try new things regularly. Not only will this expand their horizons, but it will also build their confidence. 

Think of it this way; instead of having your children focus all of their energy on what they are already good at. You want to make sure that they diversify. When your children attain new skills, it makes them feel capable and confident that they can tackle whatever comes their way next. It will only strengthen them mentally, and over time, you’ll find that they’re not as anxious as they used to be when trying something new. In fact, you might find that your children love to try new things even if they fail or make a mistake.

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10. A Chore Chart

There are so many things we have to do that we don’t want to. As adults, we know that this is life. If you didn’t have to go home to cook dinner and clean the house after working a full day, you probably wouldn’t. However, you do it because you want to do what’s best for your family. Children don’t think the same way as adults do because their brains aren’t fully developed and they’re still learning. Therefore, they don’t realize that sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to, and that’s just life. 

It means that you need to teach them this fact of life. One of the best ways to do this isn’t telling them “life is unfair” when they tell you that life is unfair. Instead, it’s making them do things that they don’t want to do. For instance, create a chore chart that you often hear about and treat it like their job. Make sure they do their chores every day. You can even set up some sort of allowance every couple of weeks where they’re paid somewhat like a real job.

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9. Let Kids Make Their Own Decisions

Mentally strong children are allowed to make their own decisions. It doesn’t mean that they get to decide when they come home from school or make household rules. It means that they are involved in the decision-making process with your support. For example, if you have a teenager, give them a chance to help set some of the rules. You might work through a pros and cons list to help them understand the best option. Moreover, if they make the wrong decision, then they have natural consequences. 

As parents, we want to protect our children and this can make us fall into the trap of becoming a controlling ‘helicopter parent’ always hovering around, which can hinder children in their development. Another truth is that learning to make healthy and good decisions comes with practice, and they need guidance. You can start simply by giving children choices over non-safety and health-related things so they can start learning how to choose. Don’t force them to take your advice, guide them instead.

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8. Engage In Mental Health Exercises

Mental health is a critical aspect of our lives. In fact, it’s just as important as physical health, even though most people are more likely to push aside their mental health or tell themselves they have to “just deal with it.” The trouble as a parent is that your children notice when you do this, making them more likely to follow your example. Therefore, it’s time to start focusing on your mental health so your children will also consider mental health exercises. 

Mental health exercises don’t mean you tell your children to “toughen up” because actually becoming mentally strong isn’t the same as thinking mentally tough. Instead, you focus on finding something calming and mind-clearing that will help your children feel less stressed and more relaxed such as yoga, going for a walk, drawing, watching TV, or gratitude exercises. The key is to build those mental muscles as a family. Remember, children are more likely to learn how to do something when you model it for them. So it’s time to begin planning mental health exercises that help you so you can teach them to your children.

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7. Support Your Children’s Goals 

You probably have goals You might have a dream to save a certain amount of money over the next couple of years or have a plan to finish college in the next three years so you can advance in your career. Just like you have goals, your children must learn to develop and work towards their goals. Mentally strong parents know that goal setting is a valuable skill that their children will always use. 

Goal setting can start at any age. In fact, once your children begin to understand the concept of true goal setting, it’s time to focus on establishing goals and encouraging them to follow through. It’s also important to remember that mistakes, failure, and success all provide valuable life lessons. Therefore, help your children challenge themselves by supporting them in making their goals whether it’s a new academic goal or a fitness goal.

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6. Review Rules With Your Children

One key factor to remember when raising children, especially mentally strong children, is that they will not always remember or understand the rules. When children are younger, especially prior to kindergarten or first grade, it’s easy for them to forget rules. Part of this is because they have so many to follow. Another aspect of this is because their brains aren’t fully developed. Furthermore, their vocabulary isn’t as large as yours so they don’t understand rules as much as older children do. Therefore, you must review rules with children regularly. 

Mentally strong parents don’t expect their children to understand that there are different expectations at the playground compared to the library. They know that their children won’t always remember that a library requires an inside voice while a playground doesn’t. Therefore, mentally strong parents will often review the rules and give gentle reminders to help their children remember. For example, if you’re about to head to the library, remind your child that it’s a place for their inside voice. That will help your child understand what is expected of them.

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5. Teach Your Children Self-Care

Over the last decade, the importance of self-care has started floating around the internet. There are several articles and websites devoted to making sure that you take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Studies have linked the importance of self-care to help a person stay physically healthy because mental and emotional health is tied to your physical health. One factor about mental strength is that it isn’t about making yourself challenging or going through difficult situations. It’s about taking care of yourself. 

Mentally strong parents prioritize taking care of their minds just like they take care of their bodies. They know that their children will follow this path if they model self-care and become mentally strong themselves. For example, mentally strong parents model the importance of a good diet and plenty of sleep. Furthermore, they invite their kids to exercise and engage in healthy social activities, such as sports while in school or getting out to run, jog, walk, or even take a yoga class. 

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4. Get Out and Have Fun

This article has given you many tips for building your own mental strength and improving your children’s mental strength. While increasing mental strength takes work and practice when it comes to building healthy exercises or mental strength exercises into your schedule, it also means you go out and have fun. The reality is that children who are becoming mentally strong are still children, and to continue to build their strength, they need to continue to act like children. This means they need to have fun and play. 

You want to make sure your children have time to focus on their mental strength. However, you want to ensure that you make time to have fun with their friends,siblings, cousins, and you. Mentally strong parents realize that it doesn’t matter if they’re playing ball or building blocks. The children get to unwind and enjoy life’s little moments together. Think of it this way: playing makes children happy, improving their emotional health, which will further enhance their mental strength.

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3. Let Children Feel Uncomfortable

One of the biggest parenting changes over the last couple of decades is that parents try to do anything to ensure that their children feel comfortable. It’s easy to fall into this trap as a parent because it’s difficult to watch your children struggle. However, mentally strong parents realize that one of the best ways they can teach their children to manage their emotions is to let their children feel uncomfortable. 

It doesn’t mean that you go out of your way to make your children feel uncomfortable. For example, you don’t force them to face their fears until you have helped them build up to that point. It also doesn’t mean they expose them to harsh circumstances so they become tougher. What it means is that mentally strong parents let them feel bored, disappointed, and frustrated sometimes. They also help them during this situation but also allow them to focus on problem-solving themselves. For instance, a mentally strong parent will guide their children during difficult situations and not fix the problem for them.

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2. Mental Strength Is A Process

One of the most critical factors about teaching mental strength is that it is a continuous process. It’s something that mentally strong parents do throughout the day, usually when the opportunity arises. For example, when their children come home from school frustrated because of an argument with a friend, a mentally strong parent will use this as a teaching moment while supporting their children. For instance, they will not only validate how their children are feeling but allow them to feel uncomfortable and then guide them while their children solve the problem. 

It’s essential to remember that no one is born mentally strong. It has to be developed through situations in your life. Mental strength is built through learning and practicing. It’s built through mental strength exercises and natural consequences. Therefore, you need to make mental strength training an ongoing priority in your family. By doing this, you will notice that your children are developing the mindset they need to reach their greatest potential. At the same time, you will find that your mental strength also grows, which significantly benefits the journey. 

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1. Don’t Waste Time

Mentally strong parents focus on one factor in life that many people struggle with – understanding what is in their control and what is not. Therefore, instead of focusing on control, mentally strong parents focus on influencing their children throughout their childhood, especially when building on their children’s mental strength. Parents can give a child the skills and tools necessary to help them become good students, but you can’t force them to get good grades. They have to put in the effort to get good grades. 

Mentally strong parents also realize that sometimes they have to use little tricks and tips to get their children to listen to them and follow the rules. It’s true that even mentally strong parents have rebellious children. However, one way they work with these children to continue to build on their mental strength is to provide consequences that make following the rules more reinforcing. Mentally strong parents also do this because they realize they can’t force their children to follow commands. They have to teach their children that rules need to be followed for structure, safety, and other reasons. 

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