No matter how old your child, he or she is going to face multiple disappointments throughout their life. These can range from minor letdowns such as not getting invited to a classmate’s birthday party, to major life events which may include not being accepted to their top-choice university.
These are part of growing up, and although it’s painful to watch your children suffer when things don’t go their way. But disappointments can actually be good for children, especially when you teach them how to bounce back so they can cope better for future letdowns.
If children can learn the tools to get over a disappointing situation, they will be able to rely on them throughout childhood and into adulthood.
Here are some tips for helping your children handle life’s many setbacks:
Know your role. As much as you would like to do everything in your power to make your children happy as often as you can, it’s just not possible. You however have the important role of helping them choose to be happy.
Modeling appropriate behavior as a parent when things don’t go your way teaches your children the skills to handle disappointments. It’s important to step back and let them use these new skills when things don’t go badly, which ultimately allows them to be responsible for their own feelings.
Empathize with your child’s disappointment. When your child is hurting from a letdown, begin by acknowledging your child’s perception of what happened. This at least opens the lines of communication and shows your child that you have been in a similar situation.
Now your child knows they are not alone. Remember that your child watches how you respond to failures in your own life. It’s okay to share your disappointment as long as you don’t overreact and it’s important to show how you learned from the experience.
Help your child find something he or she is good at. One of the most common disappointments children face are feeling like they are not as good as their peers. Perhaps your son didn’t make the final cut to play on the school football team or your daughter didn’t get invited to join the debate team.
Failure can be a blessing in disguise and serve as motivation for children to practice harder, study longer, or attempt a different approach. Success isn’t always about winning; it’s more often about finding another path.
It is important to help your children find something they can be good at that matches their interests and skills. Or figure out another way to approach the goal that takes advantage of their abilities.
Get ready for next time. Once you help your child through one disappointment, make sure you use the experience to brainstorm ways to fix the next one.
It is a good idea to talk to your child about what he or she can do next. How did he or she handle her last disappointment? Remind your child how good it felt when he or she bounced back from a past let down.
By arming your children with the experience of success and determination, you are providing the cushion they need to fall back on when disappointment strikes.
Ways to teach your teen good hygiene
Hygiene is essentially how we keep our bodies clean. Being clean is necessary to function socially. People expect that those they are interacting with should be clean.
No person is an island, so being able to deal with other people is an essential skill for teens and adults alike. Good hygiene allows us to interact with other people and reduces our risk of catching a disease.
In many cases, our children learn how to behave by watching our example. Hygiene is no different. If you have a reasonable routine for keeping yourself clean, your teen will see this as normal behavior.
Peers also shape how teens behave. If your son’s best friend is always especially clean and loads up on cologne, don’t be surprised when your son comes home with new body wash and a bottle of something that has a manly smell.
Teen hygiene basics
Shower or bathe every day. Wash hair daily. Use deodorant or antiperspirant as needed. Brush teeth twice a day and, preferably, floss daily. Wear clean socks and underwear every day.
These rules are a guide and need to be tailored to your son or daughter. If your teen has oily skin or hair, a daily shower might be necessary. If his skin is dry, then bathing every other day is acceptable.
Deodorant or antiperspirant is a personal choice in various ways. If your teen has an issue with sweating, an antiperspirant may be in order. Be careful of antiperspirants though as they can block the sweat glands underneath the arms, leading to painful lumps that should be examined by your pediatrician.
Good dental hygiene will help prevent a variety of ills. Tooth brushing removes some of the common bacteria that can cause bad breath. This removal of bacteria is also helpful in reducing the risk of various diseases from gingivitis, an infection of the gums to cavities.
Flossing removes the bacteria and dirt that are trapped between the teeth. Those bacteria, if not removed, can get into the bloodstream and can even lead to heart disease. News has shown that daily flossing might even increase your life expectancy because it removes these dangerous bacteria. Your teen may not be thinking about living longer but this research is a great reason for everyone to floss.
There are a few ways to deal with a teen that won’t bathe or observe basic hygiene. One way is to purchase personal care items geared for teens. Deodorant, soap, body spray, or even acne face wash that are left in the bathroom might magically disappear in a few weeks. Don’t buy what you would buy, but look for products geared towards teens.
Another way is to have a basic hygiene discussion with your child. Sometimes when you are driving, you can get a short message in about what is expected, hygiene-wise.
Hygiene is not frequently an issue, but when it is, it can be a big issue. With a little information and guidance, your teen will be on the path to good personal care.