Life is full of uncertainty. It doesn’t matter how much you plan. There will be things that you will have to deal with on the spot. Everything in life will not go as you want. The outcome of your life depends on so many factors that it is not possible to predict it accurately. However, it does not mean that you have a breakdown if you ever encounter such a situation.
Currently, the world is experiencing something that nobody had fathomed would ever happen. A pandemic is something that doesn’t happen every year or even every decade. As adults, we have been through many situations in a life filled with uncertainty, and this has been, by far, the toughest one. If you haven’t got around to teaching your child about it, now is the right time.
Here is how you can teach your child to deal with insecurities in simple but effective ways.
1. Validate their emotions
Not knowing what will happen next is not a picnic for your thoughts. There will be a thousand different scenarios floating around your head. Your emotions will be ranging from one extreme to another. Your child is going to find it difficult to cope with all of it. Their life has changed drastically from what it was before.
They are bound to be confused. In such situations, don’t dismiss their emotions. Whatever they are feeling is valid. Let them know that you understand. When they tell you what they are feeling, empathize with them.
Try to be in their shoes. Just because they are kids doesn’t mean that they don’t feel anything. When they express themselves, let them know that they are understood. Moreover, they start trusting you with their feelings.
Imagine you are in a crisis. You don’t know what to do. You have no idea what it is. You are bound to feel alone. It is what your children are going through exactly. So, talk to them. It is not necessary that you talk to them about the current situation only. Talk to them about anything.
Don’t make it a lecture time. Children won’t like it. Discuss normal things like, what they have been up to, or what new series they may be watching. Once they ease into the conversation, they will also start expressing themselves. Listen to them patiently.
Parents often think that when they are talking to their children, their kids need to be the centre of attention always. That is not true. When you are chatting with them, share about your day also. Tell them about your problems.
Ask them for their opinion. You may think that you are burdening them, but that is not true. You are giving them a chance to learn. They come to know that their parents trust them with their concerns. They feel that their opinion matters. Their self-confidence gets a boost, and it gives them a new drive to resolve their own issues.
3. Don’t try to shield them.
What has to happen will happen. There is nothing you can do to stop it. If you try to keep your children away from it, you are making them incapable of making decisions. When they are dealing with the tough questions in life, you cannot just give them the answers or hide the question itself.
That will be counterproductive. If you keep them away from this uncertainty, they may be saved from it now. Then what about the one that will come after that and the one after that? It will never stop till they know how to deal with it.
For example, let us start with the scenario after the tenth boards. Till the boards are over, everybody is rushing around trying to do well in it. Then, after that comes the holiday after which, you have to decide a stream. Your child may be confused. And, you want them to take a specific stream.
In such a case, don’t try to make them take whatever you want, just because they don’t have a solution. The same goes for the rest of life decisions. They have to do it themselves.
They may make a bad decision somewhere along the way, but that doesn’t mean that they will not be able to do anything, and you need to take the reins from them. Let them figure it out themselves.
4. Set a routine that will keep them busy, as well as entertained.
Let us take an example of the pandemic. In the beginning, some people were excited about the news, and there was plenty to do. We made ourselves busy with the thousand social media challenges, cooking, and whatnot. Then what? Then came the phase where we had nothing to do, and our future prospects appeared bleak( for many this is how this started). That is when uncertainty struck us. We had no idea how to get out of it.
There were days and days with nothing but worry about the future. Then came phase three, the production phase. Here we started dealing with the uncertainty. We started following a routine. We started getting more work done.
You have to help your children do the same. Help them make a time table that will get them to do something. Try to make a schedule with them that will let them have fun, as well as the feeling that they have accomplished something. It will reduce the chaos in their minds and help them find a fresh perspective.
5. Try to find a solution.
Now, when you are at a crossroads in your life and have no idea what to do, finding a way out is not a piece of cake. Help your child come up with an answer. Now, helping them does not mean that you make the decisions for them. Give them your advice.
Tell them right from wrong. And let them do the rest. Let them know that you are there for them no matter what they decide. Be there for them whenever they need your help.