Don't Rescue Your Child
It's natural to want to prevent your child from getting hurt, feeling discouraged, or making mistakes, but when you intervene -- trying to get her invited to a birthday party she wasn't included in, or pressuring the soccer coach to give her more game time -- you're not doing her any favors. Kids need to know that it's okay to fail, and that it's normal to feel sad, anxious, or angry, says Robert Brooks, PhD, coauthor of Raising Resilient Children. They learn to succeed by overcoming obstacles, not by having you remove them. "It's particularly important for young children to have the chance to play and take risks without feeling that their parents will criticize or correct them for doing something wrong," says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, professor of psychology at Temple University, in Philadelphia. She even encourages parents to make their own little mistakes on purpose. "Seeing you mess up and not make a big deal about it will make little kids feel so much better."