From a post by FORBES contributor
Raising mentally strong kids who are equipped to take on real-world challenges requires parents to give up the unhealthy parenting practices. Helping kids build mental muscle requires parents to be mentally strong as well. Watching kids struggle, pushing them to face their fears, and holding them accountable for their mistakes is tough but necessary.
Parents who train their children’s brains for a life of meaning, happiness, and success, avoid these 13 things:
1. They Don’t Condone A Victim Mentality – Rejection, failure, and unfairness are part of life. Help them identify ways in which they can take positive action, despite their circumstances.
2. They Don’t Parent Out Of Guilt – Guilty feelings can lead to a long list of unhealthy parenting strategies — like giving in to your child after you’ve said no. Know that although guilt is uncomfortable, it’s tolerable. They refuse to let their guilty feelings get in the way of making wise choices.
3. They Don’t Make Their Child The Center Of The Universe – Kids who think they’re the center of the universe grow up to be self-absorbed and entitled. Teach kids to focus on what they have to offer the world — rather than what they’re owed.
4. They Don’t Allow Fear To Dictate Their Choices – Keeping kids too safe stunts their development. Mentally strong parents view themselves as guides, not protectors. They allow their kids to go out into the world and experience life, even when it’s scary to let go.
5. They Don’t Give Their Child Power Over Them – Becoming more like an equal isn’t healthy for kids. Mentally strong parents empower kids to make appropriate choices while maintaining a clear hierarchy.
6. They Don’t Expect Perfection – Mentally strong parents recognize that their kids are not going to excel at everything they do. They focus on helping them become the best versions of themselves.
7. They Don’t Let Their Child Avoid Responsibility – They expect children to pitch in and learn the skills they need to become responsible citizens. They proactively teach their kids to take responsibility for their choices and they assign them age-appropriate duties.
8. They Don’t Shield Their Child From Pain – Kids need practice tolerating discomfort. Mentally strong parents provide their kids with the support and help they need coping with pain so their kids can gain confidence in their ability to deal with whatever hardships life throws their way.
9. They Don’t Feel Responsible For Their Child’s Emotions – Regulating your kids’ emotions for them prevents them from gaining social and emotional skills. Mentally strong parents teach their children how to be responsible for their own emotions so they don’t depend on others to do it for them.
10. They Don’t Prevent Their Child From Making Mistakes – Mentally strong parents let their kids mess up — and they allow them to face the natural consequences of their actions.
11. They Don’t Confuse Discipline With Punishment – Discipline is about teaching them how to do better in the future, to develop the self-discipline they’ll need to make better choices down the road.
12. They Don’t Take Shortcuts To Avoid Discomfort – It takes mental strength to tolerate discomfort and avoid those tempting shortcuts.
13. They Don’t Lose Sight Of Their Values – Know your values and ensure your family lives according to them.
Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, an international bestselling book that is being translated into more than 25 languages. She’s also a lecturer at Northeastern University.