Tag Archives: Parenting Tips

How to Grow Your Children’s Adversity Quotient (AQ)?

Kids reading book

by Dr. Shanthi Thomas

Adversity Quotient (AQ) is the ability to bounce back after a negative experience, and to turn it into a positive learning experience. In other words, it is resiliency. Just like Intelligence Quotient (IQ), and Emotional Quotient (EQ), Adversity Quotient is increasingly being considered as one of the most important factors that can predict a person’s success in life, including academics. Therefore, it is important to understand how parents can nurture and grow Adversity Quotient (AQ) in kids.

1. Parent-child bonding

One may think that kids should be left on their own, to learn to be resilient. However, when children are very young, a caring adult should be physically and emotionally available to them. The unconditional love of a caring adult makes them feel secure, and gives them enough inner strength to face difficulties on their own.  Also, experiences in childhood where the child could overcome adverse circumstances with the parents’ support will instill in her the belief that bad things do not necessarily mean the end of the world.

2. Take a backseat

Parents need to let kids experience some difficult situations. For example, your child has forgotten to do some work for school and the submission date is over. If the child is old enough to talk, she should be able to approach the teacher and say sorry, and ask for an extension. If the teacher’s response is negative and unreasonable, then the parents can step in. Thus, as a child grows, parents should take a backseat and let the child navigate her experiences. However, they need to step in if the child is being unreasonably dealt with or is manipulated in some way.

3. Give them play time

The role of unstructured play in developing one’s Adversity Quotient is widely recognized nowadays. Every child should be engaged in unstructured play for some time every day with his peers. In modern living conditions, it is often not possible to have old fashioned playtime involving children from families living nearby. In such cases, schools should take up the responsibility and include enough free play time in their daily lessons. This is particularly important at kindergarten and lower primary levels.

4. Do not interfere in kids’ fights

There are parents who get involved in kids’ fights. More often than not, this leads to the parents of the two parties fighting with each other for a long time, while the kids would have patched up their differences. It is never a good idea to try to solve kids’ fights unless there is serious danger involved. This is in fact one of the most important tips for successful parenting.

5. Let them do household chores

Just like managing difficult situations, children need to learn to manage situations they do not like, but are obliged to do. A very effective way of instilling this discipline in them is to get them involved in house hold work, such as folding clothes, watering plants, chopping up vegetables, washing the car or emptying the trash bin. This will teach them that sometimes in life there are situations they have to go through whether they like it or not.

6. Teach them to see the silver lining

Every situation, no matter how bad it is, has something in it that can be beneficial to us. It is often said that in every challenge there is an opportunity. Every cloud has a silver lining. Our children need to see the good that is hidden in the bad. It helps to ask a child who has gone through a particularly harrowing experience, what he learnt from it. This is because we can learn from all kinds of experiences, and often difficult experiences are very good teachers.

7. Give suggestions, not solutions

No one can expect somebody else to solve their problems all their lives. A person’s problem solving ability is often a measure of how far he can turn adverse situations to his advantage. When your child tells you that something is difficult, or that he has a problem, all parents have the temptation to immediately offer a solution. It is important to resist that temptation and offer suggestions instead. The child should be able to think and choose one of your suggestions, and act on it. As he gets older, he will be able to think of many solutions to a given problem and choose the best for himself.

8. Appreciate them when they solve problems

Finally, remember that positive reinforcement works wonders every time. When your child has finally successfully dealt with a bully by standing up to him, show your appreciation. Or when he has handled a tough relationship problem favorably, tell him that you are proud of him.

15 Fun Ways to Develop Coping Skills for Children

Kids Activities

Children go through the same emotions as adults. Yes, it might not be as complicated as yours, but they do feel angry, anxious, sad, scared, etc. and it is a parent’s job to help them overcome such negative emotions.

There is no coping skill that is less important than the others. Overall, they are all expected to help your child adapt quickly, no matter what problems he or she may encounter. This way, stress, anxiety, or any emotional turmoil that a problematic situation may subject them to won’t last long.

However, teaching your children these coping skills can become a big bore. One way to avoid this is by making the activities so fun that it easily draws your child’s attention and still helps him/her understand the importance of the skills.

Here are 15 of such fun ways:

1. Blowing Bubbles

Have a playdate with your child blowing bubbles when you notice they are pent up with negative emotions. This has been proven to be a positive technique when it comes to relieving stress.

They don’t know it, but this will teach them controlled breathing, which is a significant stress reliever, and even better, it is fun to do.

2. Painting

Kids find nothing more fun than playing with a mix of colors. This can be the go-to activity that your child favorites to relieve emotional stress.

Start by encouraging him/her to paint in colors in a preprinted drawing book. If he/she does take a liking to the activity, you can find more ways to make things a bit more complex so that they need to concentrate a lot more, thus, creating a fun diversion for them when they face difficult situations.

3. Finger Crochet

Crocheting requires focus, which makes it an excellent diversion for your child. Are you an expert at this yourself? Teach your child to turn to this during difficult times.

Charge him/her to make anything of their choice. What could be more fun than creating “colorful?”

4. Cooking

Children love food and almost expectedly, cooking. To make this activity a way for your child to learn coping skills, start by letting him or her help you in the kitchen.

From that, let them make fun foods of their choices with your guidance; the list is endless. The primary focus is that creating such new things will distract them from the problematic situation.

5. Doodling

Doodling can be a fun activity for your child to do to relieve stress. There is nothing more soothing than just drawing intricate lines and shapes to create a bigger picture.

6. Create a stress toy with playdough

Again, your child needs you for this activity. Together, create a stress ball out of playdough. This is also a great time to listen to them talk about their day or whatever problem they have encountered.

7. Taking them out to enjoy nature

Do you sense that your child is angry, sad, or just somewhat withdrawn? It might be time to take him/her on a walk to enjoy the sights and smells of nature.

It can be as purposeful as a hike or camping trip or as simple as a stroll to the park. Either way, it is sure to help them relax.

8. Breathing Exercises

A few slow, deep breaths can help kids relax their minds and their bodies. One way to teach kids to do this is instructing that they try to “smell the pizza” – or any of their favorite foods.
Instruct that they breathe in through the nose like they’re smelling the food then, tell them to blow on it to cool it down. Doing this several times will help them relax.

9. Reading

Encourage your child to read books when they face a difficult situation. This is not precisely because they will find a solution in the book; instead, it serves as a diversion.

Even better, after reading, they will be rejuvenated and able to think more positively.

10. Playing a Game

If you find that your child can’t seem to get over a bad thing that may have happened at school or with a friend, encourage him/her to play a game.

Again, this will create a distraction and help them face the situation more positively afterward.

11. Watching a funny video

Laughing is a great way to relieve stress and generate positivity. When your kid is feeling sad, a funny animal or cartoon video will lighten their mood and even help them open up to you.

12. Yoga

Yoga is a source of relaxation. If you already do yoga, let your kids join in, and if otherwise, find a simple regime you can learn together. This not only relieves stress; it boosts the mood and helps your child be more confident.

13. Playing music

This can be a relaxing activity for you and your child. It also paves the way for them to open up about whatever might be bothering them.

This also includes letting him/her learn a new music instrument.

14. Create a calm down kit

Get a box and fill it with your child’s favorite things. It could be a drawing book, a paintbrush, a stress ball, etc.; just make sure that it soothes him/her.

Next time he/she encounters a difficult situation, get down the box.

15. Engage in a mood booster

Together with your child, compile a list of the things he likes to do when he’s happy, e.g., a dance, sing, play with friends, swim, etc. These are the mood boosters, so when next he’s feeling sad, encourage him to do something on the mood booster list.

In conclusion, it is essential to note that every child is different and what works for one child may not for another. So, study your child, listen, and modify learning life coping skills that best fits his/her personality.

Also, praise your child when he accomplishes something new while doing these activities, and when he makes a mistake, use it as a teaching opportunity.

Cheers to parenting the new generation!

Cheryl Hearts is a passionate journalist from Boston, Massachusetts. She decided to dedicate her life to writing because she thinks this way she can be the most useful for the community. After obtaining a Master’s degree in Journalism, Cheryl started running her own blog CherylHearts.com where she’s covering topics of great interest to society.

Bringing Up Kids in Corona Time

Kids in Corona Time

The world is going through an unprecedented, crisis time. COVID 19 has invaded and interrupted every aspect of our lives. Parenting is a challenge at all times, and is a especially so, in these troubled times. How do we get through these trying times as parents?

Talking to kids about COVID 19

Children who are very young, say, below 6 years old and not going to school, may not have heard about COVID 19, so it is best not to bring up the topic in their hearing. However, children who are older, and are affected by the crisis through school closure, would know about it either through news on television, social media or their friends. What is important is to adopt a very matter of fact demeanor in their presence, when talking about the problem. Tell them the facts, and also that if one keeps personal hygiene and follow health guidelines like social distancing, one should be safe. It is of paramount importance that the parents do not get anxious and panicky.

How to enforce protective measures?

Young or old, all kids should be taught to wash their hands for 20 seconds (or the time taken to sing ‘happy birthday’ song twice) before and after meals, after play, after they go to the bathroom, after they come in from outside and after they’ve blown their nose or put their hands in their mouth. Make sure they are drying them thoroughly. Hand sanitizers is the other option, if handwashing is not possible. Since school is closed, there is actually no need for kids to go out of the house, and it is best that they do not venture out for anything, be it a birthday party or a play date. They need to be inside the house.

How to engage kids at home during home isolation?

This is a big topic and one that all parents worry about. Children are by nature restless, and need to do something. They cannot stand boredom. If parents are also staying home, the best approach is to treat this as a special bonding holiday, in which your family spends as much time together as possible. Books are a very helpful ally in this time, and a lot of books for kids are available as well as animated stories online. Other ways to get kids engaged are printing out coloring pages and getting kids different types of coloring equipment such as color pencils, crayons, pastels and water colour. To avoid a mess, spread newspapers on the floor, and just dispose them off after the activity. Other things to do are cooking with kids, letting them do chores to earn half a dollar per day etc.

Build a routine

Children thrive on routines because it gives predictability and structure to their lives. Assign time for each of their activities. There should be a fixed wake up time, meal times, reading time, coloring time, bed time and time to do chores. This is a good time to establish family rituals, such as having meals together and each member of the family narrating a story or telling a joke. It is unwise for a parent to be spending all his/her time entertaining or engaging the child. The child should be able to amuse himself alone for some time, either with his toys, or reading. This gives parents much-needed time alone. For families blessed to have a house with a small compound, it will be great to spend evening time together outside, either playing games like basketball or badminton, or doing gardening.

Ensuring healthy indoor life

What suffers the most during an isolation period is often physical activity and nutritious food. Physical activity suffers because there is no more going to the playground or going on playdates. The only way to solve this problem is to have a family exercise or yoga time, when all members of the family will join in an exercise or yoga routine, perhaps following audio or video instructions.  Nutritious food also might become scare because there is only a limited amount of perishable food such as vegetables that families can buy and store in the refrigerator, which means that nonperishable food such as canned food may be preferred. This is not good news for health, and parents should try as much as possible to restock on fresh fruits and vegetables as much as they can.

A final word on screen time discipline

Both adults and children will be tempted to spend a lot of time on chats and Netflix movies. However, life is so much more than all this. Therefore, make sure that screen time is only part of the day’s activities, and the Wi-Fi is switched on and available only for a certain period of the day.

Benefits of Story Telling to Children

8 Topmost Benefits of Story Telling to ChildrenGone are the days when parents dedicated quality time for telling interesting stories to their children. The ever-growing popularity of gadgets, tremendous work pressure, busy schedules, lack of time etc has led to parents spending less or almost none of the time when it comes to storytelling for kids. Continue reading Benefits of Story Telling to Children