Do not try to protect your child against every small blow and disappointment. Adversity strengthens character and makes us compassionate. Trouble is the great equalizer. Let him learn it.”
-Ann Landers, Columnist
What is a crisis?
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines CRISIS as “an unstable or crucial time in which a decisive change is impending” or “a situation that has reached a critical phase”. Every person goes through such moment of crisis, not just adults but kids too. A crisis moment for a kid can be anything ranging from losing a dear one to not being able to recollect an answer during exam. Often adults tend to look down and ignore such crises since the kids lack the language to express the magnanimity of the moment.
The term “crucial time” is used to signify such moments because, the individual is often unprepared to cope up with the situation and also is expected to be strong willed at the moment. Consequently, they feel that the situation is out of control and end up panicked, confused and hopeless. For instance, if a kid is unable to solve a single math problem in an exam, he/she ends up giving up the whole question paper.
Hence, crisis management is a very essential skill that should be nurtured among young ones. It will not only help them in their young phase but will be carried throughout their life.
Knowing their fears
As a parent, one should be well aware of when and where a child can go through such crises. Or in other words, how a child reacts to different situations. A child may be completely equipped to face a particular situation but might break down in another. A parent should know the kid’s strengths and weaknesses in order to prepare him/her emotionally during crucial moments. Parents should be vigilant as well as empathize with their kids to comprehend their emotional statuses.
Exposure to crises
Over-parenting or over-protecting often tends to make the child emotionally fragile and unprepared to confront moments of crisis. Learning is subjective where a child develops his/her own mechanisms to handle an issue based on what he/she has faced before. As a parent, it is obvious that we become more cautious in preventing our kid from getting hurt or facing a failure. But we should also be reminded of the fact that we are concealing a larger, hard and a competitive world from our kid which he/she might be compelled to face in while.
Learning from crises
As mentioned above learning through experiences is how a child becomes equipped to face critical situations. The child must be encouraged to write down the issues or situations he/she has faced and what has been done at those moments. This is one important and easy way for the kid to express his/her feelings. Or the child can also be encouraged to share orally. And you as a parent, can intervene and share your ideas or similar experiences. Finding solutions to problems together also helps in building a good relationship with your young ones.
The reality is, there is always a limit to what a child can do during crucial situations. Hence, parents should be empathetic to their kids especially during such times. Being harsh would only undermine their confidence in facing difficult moments. Here, building trust is the key. If a kid knows that there is someone who can control a situation which they couldn’t, they naturally wouldn’t break down. And also, they wouldn’t end up taking irrational decisions that might harm them more.
As a parent you should firstly, make the child feel safe and assured of the fact that they can expect any kind of support from you at bad times. Next, you should respect their feelings even if it seems to be absurd from an adult’s standpoint. And most essentially, you should comprehend the different phases of your child and prepare them accordingly, to face and fight crisis.