How to teach children to face challenges and overcome them by themselves

Growing up is not easy. Although childhood is related to fun and joy, it is not exempt from trials and challenges that present themselves as an opportunity to learn to solve problems. However, this difficulty can be translated into frustration when they do not resolve as quickly as they expect or in the face of the discomfort of facing these situations.

The work of parents is to help their children face these challenges in their day to day and learn the valuable lesson of dealing with problems. Therefore, from the Spanish Confederation of Associations of Parents of Students, CEAPA, several tips are offered with which to help the little ones learn to face these moments and deal with frustration.

Self control

Challenges represent a path that must be traveled before reaching a desire or goal. The son wants to satisfy a need, the problem appears when you have to wait to achieve this goal. It is in this moment where self-control should be the first step to be able to face this situation and be able to maintain calm instead of being guided by despair.

To do this, parents must teach mechanisms to ensure that the smallest reach the self-control:

- Show that children have control over the situation. They can decide on what is the next step to take to achieve the goal, perhaps the objective is delayed, but they must be the ones who decide the strategy to achieve it.

- Value alternatives. Life does not always grant what one wants, but the road continues. The frustration supposes to remain still and not to continue advancing, for it nothing better than to value other alternatives that can be transformed in new goals.

- Take into account the consequences. Perhaps there is the possibility of achieving the short-term objective, but this quick solution can have undesirable consequences in the short term.

The role of 'no'

No parent wants their child to be sad and frustration is a way for the little one to see this feeling. For this reason, many parents choose to make the way easy for children and advance the goal that children seek. A bad decision because in their future there will be situations in which they will not be able to lend a hand when it comes to solving these problems.

When the little ones go to their parents to achieve this goal quickly, adults must be prepared to say no. From CEAPA they advise parents to be prepared for what they call "justification request", that is, explain the reason that gave rise to" no. "This argument must be short and precise so that it does not give rise to interpretations.

It is possible that sometimes this argument finds a replica on the part of the smallest. Faced with this situation, the parents must cut the argument because the children only want to get away with it in these situations. It can also happen that the little ones try to provoke by not achieving their goals, here the talk must finish and the parents assert their authority.


The search for goals must be accompanied by a path that must be followed before obtaining the desired desire. The mission of the parents is to negotiate with them the previous effort, challenge, that they must face before getting the darling reward:

- Before negotiating, know how to take advantage of circumstances to balance desires and obligations. The commitment is confirmed, in a positive way. Try to motivate the little ones without imposing anything, simply by making them see that they have to face a test and that this will be beneficial for them.

- During. Children take over, they must be the ones who decide what to do to achieve their goals. During this phase parents should not give in and continue to make their children see that if they do not respect the agreement, there will be no positive result.

- After. The parents must comply with the agreement and grant the children what was negotiated. In this way the children will see that they can face the challenges and that with effort they will be able to achieve the proposed goals.

Damián Montero

Video: Overcoming obstacles - Steven Claunch

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