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Here’s how parents can help children navigate a tough day

Team StoryWeavers|October 11, 2021|

“Hope is necessary for striving in hard times.”

Lailah Gifty Akita

We all have tough days. Those days when we feel like we woke up on the wrong side of the bed. The same thing happens to children too. They have tough, difficult or even outright bad days, just like adults. However, we as adults are at a distinct advantage when it comes to handling these days — we can communicate better, we know our triggers and emotions better, etc. 

Like most things in life, children need to be taught how to deal with tough or difficult days because it is a life skill that will provide a lifelong advantage to them. In this article, we will cover how parents can help their children navigate a tough day. 

How can parents help their children navigate a tough day

A book written by an early childhood teacher, Clare Beswick, titled Tough Times, offers practical tips for parents to help their children deal with a difficult day. Though these tips are mostly for helping children let go of their emotions. We are positive that they will prove to be useful for navigating a tough day as well. They are as follows:

  • Keep your emotions under control. It is difficult to see your child having a tough day. Parents need to remember that they need to keep calm first to help their child. Remind yourself that you need not fix it for your child. You simply need to show up for your child on their tough day. 
  • Watch out for triggers. Each child is unique and has a unique way of expressing that they have had a hard day.. 
  • Acknowledge that your child is having a tough day. Parents need to acknowledge and validate their child through emotions and expressions. 
  • Offer plenty of water, food, and fresh air. Try to avoid overwhelming or over-stimulating the child with different activities at the end of a tough and long day. Give your child short opportunities to rest and relax. 
  • Teach your child about their emotions and create an emotion-friendly environment at home. Make it a habit to talk about the day at the end of each day. It gives children an opportunity to talk about their day, ask questions, and ask for an extra hug from the parents. 

Parents need to reassure their children that having a tough day is perfectly normal and happens to all of us. You can give your child a tiny smiley sticker or a note that they can keep with them when they are experiencing a tough day. It can act as a reassuring reminder from the parents that the tough day will soon pass. 

Do you think that these tips will work for your child? How do you typically help your child navigate a tough day? Let us know in the comments below. 

Reference:

Featherstone, S., Beswick, C. (2009). Tough Times. United Kingdom: A&C Black. 

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About the Author


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Mekhala Joshi

“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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