“Be brave enough to try something new; you might just succeed.”
The upcoming summer holiday season is a chance for children to try something new. As adults we know that it is important to step out of our comfort zones from time to time. However, new situations and experiences can be challenging for some adults. It is no different for children, as these new experiences can evoke anxiety or make some feel overwhelmed and vulnerable.
In this article, we talk about what parents can do to encourage children to try new things.
A book by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Smart Parenting for Smart Kids Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential, suggests a few strategies parents can use to encourage their children to try new things. Eileen is an internationally published author, psychologist, and speaker. She is also an expert on parenting and child development.
Most children believe that all their efforts should translate into success. We need to help them understand that not everyone is successful 100 percent of the time and many are bound to face their unique set of difficulties and challenges. It will help them learn that trying new things also means facing failure at times, and that it is completely okay. For example: Thomas Edison tried over ten thousand experiments before inventing the light bulb and famous children’s writer JK Rowling’s book Harry Potter was rejected by twelve publishers.
We all know by now that there are no shortcuts to success. A famous study states that it takes ten thousand hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. Deliberate practice requires one’s focused and sustained efforts to become better. It is much more difficult than practising what we already know. Children need to understand that trying new things to become better is the way towards becoming an expert.
Some children are afraid of making mistakes and looking like a fool in front of the world. This often stops them from trying new things. One way of helping young children overcome this is to do something absolutely ridiculous with them, such as learning to juggle three balls at once. Engaging in pointless activities, particularly the ones which your children think you will be bad at, is a perfect way to help them break their impossibly rigid standards from themselves.
These are some simple strategies that will help parents encourage their children to try new things. Reassuring children that you are there for them no matter what is essential regardless of how old or young they are. It will allow them to take risks and explore new things.
Are you excited to try these strategies at home? How do you typically encourage children to try new things? Do let us know in the comments or drop a note at [email protected].
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as compliments unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.
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