How to Make Your Child Mentally and Emotionally Strong?

A lot of people get confused understanding the actual meaning of the word, ‘mental strength’. Mostly, they perceive mental strength as suppressing emotions or acting tough. 

That’s not true, though. Mental strength is about being confident and resilient in every situation that life puts you through. However, most adults aren’t as mentally strong as they seem to be. The root cause lies in their childhood and the way they were raised. 

Childhood is the foundation of creating a life. A weak foundation never leads a great life — especially not emotionally. Therefore, here I will share 9 rules of how you can raise emotionally strong children.

The 9 Rules of Raising Strong Children

Here are the 9 golden rules of raising strong children — emotionally and mentally. 

1. Become the role model of your child.

Children learn everything from what they see around themselves — whether it’s a science experiment or the family’s emotional environment.

If you witness, adults who were raised in an emotionally neglectant household often ended up developing an anxious attachment style. On the other hand, people who were raised in a happy family grow up to be a confident and strong person.

At the end, it’s about what your child sees.

Just like children have their celebrity role models, you can become their ‘emotion’ role model. Here’s how:

  • Create an emotionally open environment at your home.
  • Be the ‘happy’ couple.
  • Show what a positive and confident person looks like.

2. Tell and show your child to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Now as you show them what a positive person looks like, also teach them to replace their negative thoughts with positive ones. 

Again, children learn a lot from their environment. They may pick up some negative elements from school, friends, or relatives. Thus, creating a stream of negative thoughts in their mind.

But you should teach your child how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Here are some tips:

  1. Help your child to identify their worries.
  2. Instead of rationalizing their worries, give them 3-5 positive options.
  3. Make them believe in those positive thoughts.

3. Practice gratitude everyday with them.

The key to being happy is being grateful. It sounds pretty easy to say, but a lot harder for people to practice consistently.

If you help your child develop a new habit of practicing gratitude everyday early on, it will make their older life much easier. Start in the morning with a few sentences that they believe in.

Don’t force your own gratitude on them. Make them say about what makes them happy.

Of course, show them a few examples at first. Teach them how to say gratitude affirmations. Slowly, make them do it on their own.

4. Show your child what positivity looks like.

The best way to teach anything to children is by showing off. Same goes for teaching positivity and emotional intelligence to them.

Show your child what being positive looks like. For instance, if something bad happens during the day, address the problem from a positive angle. 

It doesn’t have to be smiling all the time. But since there are two sides of the coin, you can choose to see the brighter side.

5. Encourage your child to solve problems.

a child doing creative activities

When someone shuts down a child for solving a problem the wrong way, it affects their confidence way too much. It’s almost like hitting at a delicate piece of glass — it shatters quickly. 

So, encourage your child to solve problems — whether it’s a small math equation or the Rubik’s cube. If they do it wrong, teach them again without saying a negative word.

6. Limit your child’s screen time.

Almost all the kids out there use smartphones for the fun of it. On an average, children [aged 8-12 years] in the United States spend 4-6 hours every day on the screen.

The content your kid consumes decides a lot about how your child starts thinking. Too much screen time isn’t good for your child’s mental and emotional well-being. So, look out for how many hours your young one spends watching TV.

7. Make them share their feelings.

Older children tend to hide how they feel in the fear of judgment, punishment, or the ‘nobody would understand me’ statement.

The first step is to strike a small talk everyday after your child comes from the school. Make them talk about their day — all the good and bad things. 

This way, when they’re feeling upset, you will be the first person your child will go to. Additionally, it will be easier to make them talk about their feelings now that it’s a habit already.

8. Help your child understand their emotions well.

A lot of teens nowadays aren’t even aware of what they feel at a moment, so how can they ever solve their emotional queries? There’s one reason why it happens — these teens weren’t taught to identify their emotions and act on them early on.

As a parent, you should help your child become aware of their emotions and act on them. For instance, if the kid is feeling scared, then why is it so? How can they not feel scared?

The first step to understanding emotions starts with ‘becoming aware of the root’ of those emotions.

9. Allow your child to step out of their comfort zone.

a mother bonding with her children

Let your child step out of their comfort on their own. If they’re feeling bored, let them feel it and tell them to enjoy calmness. Also, if they lose in a game, tell them that they are responsible for their win or loss.

Of course, you are there to hold them as a safety net if things ever go south — let them know. But at the moment, encourage them to do things by themselves.

It will develop mental strength, toughness, and resilience in your child. Hence, making them emotionally strong.

Conclusion

If you aren’t strong enough yet, start working on your mental strength first. After all, how can you show your child something that you don’t possess yet

It’s not rocket science. The first few weeks may feel impossible, but over time, you will get there.

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