“I missed three chapters in math when I was out sick. No way can I catch up!”
“Tom broke up with me. It hurts so much!”
“I didn’t make the school play. Why did I even try out?”
It’s never easy to see your teenager suffer a setback, but hard times come to everyone. Instead of overprotecting your teens or rushing in with ready solutions, it’s better to teach them how to be strong and self reliant so they don’t give up when calamity strikes.
Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and author of A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens, offers tips for turning whiners into winners.
#1. Give your child unconditional love.
If you judge your teen based on his school performance or athletic prowess, you risk raising either a rebel or a perfectionist, says Dr. Ginsburg. Instead, hold high expectations for him to be a good person, and encourage values like integrity, empathy, and perseverance.
When Cory G. injured his knees in a game, he wasn’t able to finish the basketball season. It was a major disappointment since he was co-captain of his team, yet his parents urged him to attend every practice and cheer at every game. He did so, earning new respect from his teammates. “We tell our kids that character and honor will pull you through,” says Cory’s mom, Tricia.