Every time I read reports of student suicide, my heart would be filled with sadness and regret. How valuable life is, why did he/she give it up so imprudently? People say this is a generation lacking vitality. A man short of positive self-concept and self-affirmation will find it hard to develop healthy life values. In fact, everybody would inevitably encounter pressure, difficulties and setbacks. The lesson we need to learn through our whole lifetime is how to deal with these obstacles. Resilience can not be obtained in a day. It must be trained from childhood. Resilience is the ability of people to feel better quickly after unpleasant things. People with resilience have the power to convert adversity into favourable circumstance and possess stronger vitality. Even in front of difficulties, failures or setbacks, they will respond and face them with a positive attitude.
Everybody wants to be appreciated and valued. The younger the children, the more influence parents will have on the establishment of their self-image. So, when children encounter setbacks, parents shall not blame them first, instead, they shall face the setbacks together with them and help them find out the crux of the problem and figure out an appropriate solution. Thereby children will understand that the right attitude towards setbacks is to face them directly rather than to escape from them. Moreover, when accompanying children, parents can better understand children’s inward world, which helps improve the parent-child relationship.
During the new semester of each year, I see many new parents who pamper their children telling the teachers how to take care of their children. For example: always wear a coat, drink water, our children can not eat that food, etc.; if their child doesn’t feel well, they will even call the teacher for his/her physical conditions every two to three hours; when their child is bullied by his/her peers, they would definitely blame and scold the teacher with great anger; these behaviors are understandable and common in our daily life. However, pampered children are tend to lack frustration tolerance or to escape from obstacles. Appropriate loose control on children is good for them to face and analyze problems independently. And, if applicable, we shall let children handle their problems on their own first. If they fail, encourage and guide them to figure out other solutions. This will help improve their tolerance against setbacks.
All parents hope their children could obtain good grades, hope they could go to college in the future, and find well-paid jobs. This thought is indeed beyond reproach, and is an indication of love for their children; whereas, the question is, do parents understand what their children really need and their ability level? Do they realize what kind of pressure their children are taking? Success doesn’t always mean good academic results or a victory in a game. Success can be drawing a beautiful picture or cooking a delicious meal. Praising children's strengths helps boost their self-confidence. We shall encourage our children to extend the definition of success. Even if they fail today, they can still face the failure with calm and carry on their lives with persistence.
Every setback is a lesson for self-training and every failure is a chance for self-growth. Childhood is an important period for everyone to develop knowledge, establish behavior habit and cultivate values. Therefore, resilience shall be cultivated from childhood.
When parents pick up children from school, one common question they ask is: “Were you a naughty boy/girl today? Were you punished by your teacher?” In fact, parents would like others to praise their children. Why do they themselves always say negative words to their children? It’s because too many parents think the more praises, the prouder their children will become. However, many scholars believe that praise can help boost children's self-confidence and stimulate their inner motivation. Students are taught to queue up in school. When a teacher says, “let me see who stands the best”, all students turn silent and stand up straight immediately. This example indicates every child wants to be praised.
I often see parents talking to each other about how naughty and disobedient their children are at home. Their children next to them heard and remembered. As these words take root in their heart, their self-esteem will be hurt and self-orientation reduced. Dorothy Law Nolte, a well-known American educational psychologist, pointed out that if children live with praise, they learn appreciation. If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence. On the contrary, if children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty. If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
We’ve seen how influential parents' words could be. I still remember when I was in middle school, I was praised by my Chinese teacher for my beautiful font. From that day on, I often practiced writing at home, expecting not to disappoint the teacher's praise, also expecting my teacher to keep praising me. Similarly, when children are praised, they would be more motivated to continue the thing or behavior that was encouraged.
I often heard praises parents say to their children: “You’re so smart!”, “You are so cute!”, etc. Indeed, it is advisable for parents to praise their children often. But sometimes children may be confused about the praises, because they don’t actually know what they’ve done to be praised. That’s why many parents complain that they’ve tried to praise their children, but their children would return to normal and continue to be naughty. In their eyes, praise doesn’t work. So they again start to criticize or rebuke their children. Why does this issue happen? Children can not always read their parents’ mind. Besides, children are still a learner in front of the moral standards in adult world; therefore, only by using specific descriptive praise can we help our children continue the right behavior.
We should specify which kind of behavior or performance will be praised. For example, “it’s so nice of you to pack up your toys on yourself!”, “Mommy is so happy for your being willing to help others”, “You got higher score this time, it means you worked harder than the last time!” etc. When children hear these compliments, they will feel they’ve grown up, and more valued. In turn, their confidence and self-orientation will improve.
However, it is still important to note that parents shall know more about their children's abilities and development stages so that their praise works. For example, it’s advisable for you to praise a child who is learning to walk this way: “You moved three steps, excellent! Keep moving!” However, if you say so to a child who has already been able to walk, that would be too inappropriate.
Children who are often praised will feel accepted, appreciated, and validated. Praise can encourage a child to do the right things and get rid of bad habits. Praise is the magic spell for children's growth.
Everybody longs for success. Similarly, every parent longs for successful children. However, everybody has a different definition against success. Some parents would be satisfied if their children could succeed in learning; some parents would be proud if their children could grasp well-paid jobs. No matter what the success criteria are, the prerequisite lies in whether the child possesses the traits of success. If parents could understand the traits and cultivate their children accordingly, success would be in sight.
Children are born to be innocent and happy. As they grow up, their parents give different comments on them, such as “you are so smart!”, “you are stupid!”, etc., which will gradually form their self-awareness. Their confidence builds up at the same time. Confidence is the basis of success. Because confidence enables children to face difficulties and failures, gives children the courage to face challenges and obstacles. Confident children have higher expectations on themselves, and will endeavor to achieve higher accomplishments. Thereby success will be in sight.
However, overconfidence results in arrogance. Self-righteousness leads to complacency and conservatism. And both of them will end in failure. Many parents blame others first when their children fail, but never analyze the reason of failure, face the crux of the matter and fix it. In fact, everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, only by understanding your own weakness, being willing to accept suggestions from others, staying open-minded and letting others help yourself and accomplishing self-improvement can you find success is achievable.
People are living in a connected society. One man’s power is finite. As an old saying goes: “Two heads are better than one”. Work will be smoother if we can put heads together and deal with difficulties hand in hand. The former US president Roosevelt said: “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” Social network is indeed an important resource for successful people. However, will parents establish good social relationships so that their children could learn and follow? Interpersonal skills are not developed in a day. So good social relationships are helpful for cooperation; good social relationships can improve mental health and work efficiency, meaning success is more achievable. Nowadays, children are being protected too much and are overdependent on their parents. I met many parents complaining that their children require them to sit behind when doing homework. Such children who lack independence tend to be faint-hearted and passive towards learning, not to mention developing the ability of independent thinking. In fact, being able to think independently is one component of success.
According to media report, the world's richest man, Bill Gates, was taught by his father to think independently and discuss work together since he was a child. By handling our own issues, solving our own problems, we can improve our problem-solving ability and develop robust vitality. Never do things by halves, always finish what you start, then you will find success is not far away.
There is no doubt that success doesn't happen overnight. It needs parents to edify their children with perseverance. Success can not be achieved by only telling your children what to do without