Raise a Child Who Loves Life

Help her handle frustration

Let Him Fail

We want our kids to feel good about themselves, so it's natural to try to remove obstacles along the way. Here's the rub: If we're always trying to solve their problems, they won't develop the ability to fight their own battles, accept when they're wrong, and learn to move on. "Children today have a lower tolerance for frustration, and they often have a harder time with delayed gratification," says Jenn Berman, Psy.D., author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. "However, handling stress or disappointments, admitting mistakes, and changing direction are some of the most crucial skills for living a happy life. The only way to master them is through practice."

When your child complains that he can't do something like finish a puzzle or put on his sneakers, don't try to convince him that he can. As grueling as it may be, show patience and say, "That's okay. There's no hurry. Next time you want to try again, let me know." Whether it's a few minutes or a few days later, he'll probably come back to the task at hand. If he gets aggravated and starts to yell, it's a good time to say, "I understand it's frustrating, but it's not okay to scream."

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