As parents, our foremost goal and joy, is to see our children grow physically, psychologically, socially and academically. The reality is that depression and other mental health illnesses are on the rise and some children can become susceptible to these conditions.
Children who struggle with depression might have the tendency to draw away from everyone, including friends and their parents! While this might be scary, there are many things parents need to understand about mental health and signs of depression.
Feelings of depression are not healthy for a child’s mental health. Therefore, parents need to monitor their children, learn the warning signs of depression and come into the picture, not just as parents, but as coaches.
When it comes to parenting as a coach, we need to teach, guide, and sometimes push them to their positive limits that they themselves did not know they could reach! For this coaching process to be successful, you would have to also help them develop grit.
You may ask, what is grit?
It is a positive personality trait, that someone has, to persevere and pursue their goal, regardless of adversity or obstacles. Prominent Psychologist, Author, and University Professor, Angela Duckworth, (and her colleagues) say that:
Grit is a better determiner of success, than intelligence quotient (IQ).
How did they get to this conclusion? It’s not simply their opinion, they conducted a research, in the United States of America by studying the dropout rate of cadets from the US Military Academy, and observed the ranking in children’s spelling Bee competition.
After their observations, the psychologists stated that children with a higher IQ had the capacity to win the competitions, but they lacked grit. As a result of this grit, they were unable to forge ahead and so, they were ‘lazy’ when it came to studying for the prize.
However, those with an above-average IQ, but a high level of grit, did not relent in their chase for the prize. In the end, they surpassed all others!
How can Parents Help to Instill Grit?
Children need to learn to have a ‘never give up attitude’ from a young age. This will enable them to grow up with the perseverance they need to face any challenge in life. Parents are in the perfect position to show their children how to react, and deal with the challenges they might face.
As earlier stated, depression, especially when it goes undetected, can lead to serious mental health challenges and lead to suicidal ideation.
As parents, it is important to help children understand, that failure is a part of the winning process. Of course, no child will be glad to fail, however, you can model the right attitude and let them understand that failure is simply feedback.
To inspire your children, and help them avoid depression
- Give them the assurance, that you would be with them every step of the way. Let them know that failure is part of the journey to success. Children love to be assured.
- It is helpful to set some joint goals. Perhaps a goal is to get the first position in class and this was not achieved. It is fine, help them create a realistic time table to go over the areas that they need to improve. In addition, you can help them to set a reading timetable and improve time management skills.
- Tell them inspiring stories of great men, who did not let their failure stop them from trying again.
- If your child asks for a gift, you can promise him or her that they will get it, if they do not give up on a specific dream or goal.
- Nothing beats personal experience. Be an open book! Tell them about that time you missed a question which made you lose in a quiz competition. Sure, they might laugh and say silly things, but you’ve unconsciously made them understand that even the best people fail.
- To alleviate their mood and prevent depression too, you can engage in some family activities that help maintain the right mental health.
When all is said and done, we as parents need to continually support our children. The way coaches groom their trainees is teaching them, following up the process, and support.[Read More Here on Raising Children who have grit]
As Intentional Parents, you can raise children who have grit, and an undying desire, to always try again.