Albert Einstein said, “Everyone is a Genius”.

If a fish is made to think and judged by its ability to climb a tree, then the fish would live it’s life believing it’s weak and useless. Similarly with children, parents must ask themselves -- Are we able to see our child for who they are? Are we giving our child the space to grow?
- Charis Patrick, Family Life Educator

As a mother of 4 children aged 9 to 16 years, Charis shared that she always felt there are four pairs of eyes watching closely her every move and decided to make a resolution, “Before I teach them (her children) how to be a better person, I always make sure I can do what I want to teach them.”

When you scold your child for failing to get a perfect score on his or her spelling test, berating your child signals to them that you are afraid and vulnerable to failures.

Instead, we should reframe our mindsets and learn to celebrate failures because that is how our children are about to achieve success! When children experience setback, parents should be ready to embrace, make them feel loved and secured. Acknowledging and empathizing with their emotions are key to a strong parent-child connection which is critical for the emotional and psychological health of our children.

Overtime, your child will also become more resilient and not be easily intimidated when they face another setback. They are building resilience – the ability to bounce back when faced with stress and pressure.

So what do we do?
Charis Patrick suggests that parents should take a step back and start by regulating their emotions.

“Learn to listen with our eyes, heart, ears. When a child feels that he is being listened to and understood by you, they will begin to blossom and flourish,” said Charis.

Parents need to take the approach of prompting and guiding by asking questions which would lead them to the answer. When your child looks upset or is distressed in future, you can use the following prompters to empathize with your child in order to help them regulate their emotions:

How to Regulate Emotions?

Sample Response

1. State your observations and/or concern

“I observe that… / “I’m concerned that…

2. Give an empathic response

“I hear you say…“
“It must be tough for you”

3. Illicit the feeling. Use a feeling word…
“It must be tough for you”

“You must be feeling…”

4. Ask not tell

“What are some of the options…?”
“What are your thoughts…”

5. Ask for permission to speak

“Can I tell you what I think? “…
“Can I have your permission to say something…?”

Reproduced from Charis Patrick, Family Life Educator’s presentation materials at the Families for Life P.L.A.Y. Seminar on Raising Resilient Children.

An important reminder for parents is it’s not about making our children to be what we want them to be. Instead it’s about helping our children to be all that they can be.

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