The greatest gift we can give our children is the ability to cope with the inevitable difficulties in life.
Here are a few brief tips to help start your kids on their way to having healthy coping skills:
Don't... protect them from every potential hurt.
Don't... always protect them from the truth of difficult or negative situations (of course, be sure to use good judgment with regard to what is appropriate for your child's age and developmental stage).
Do... model positive coping skills, i.e. grieving, open discussion of crisis, make plans as a family how to handle situations (large and small).
Do... model good problem solving skills.
Do... give them opportunities to solve problems for themselves.
Do... give them responsibilities within the family to give them a sense of importance within the family.
Do... give them a sense of independence (as appropriate at every age) so that they will feel competent.
Do... teach children about the ups and downs in life so that they will feel hopeful during the tough times that better times are ahead.
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