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Adversity- essential for children development

I heard the yell from the balcony, Mrs Kumar was screaming at her 17-year-old daughter. ” you are good at everything- studies, robotics, elocution. Why can’t you solve your problems between you and Neha (her best friend)? Sitting depressed like this will not help you.” similarly, today’s youngsters are brilliant at understanding and decoding technology. The question arises are they equally capable with handling setbacks, failures, downfalls and the emotional health. As per the Khaleej Times news website, 20 students committed suicide after the results were declared in April 2019.

Despite possessing the best of amenities, elite gadgets, youngsters today continue to be bogged down by depression, dejection and despondency. Possibly we, as parents have left no stone to unturn to provide our kids with the finest food, excellent education or any luxury for that matter. But we forgot them to teach how to handle adversities in life. There are two breeds of parents – SNOW PLOW AND  HELICOPTER PARENTS.

Snow plow parents constantly force obstacles out of their kids’ paths. They have their eye on the future success of their child, anyone or anything that stands in their way has to be removed.they would go extra miles to help the child. They would make sure the child has proper rest. They would blame the teachers for giving their child, fewer grades. Researchers sense they have the entitlement of snowplowers. Snowplow parents are better known for attempting to smooth the road for their children. 

Helicopter parents hover and micro-manage out of fear. They observe every morsel that enters their child’s body, they monitor their every move, they keep a close eye on every scrap of homework. They hold their kids close to them because they’re anxious about the big, wide world.

Because of overprotective and cushioning nature of parents, children are unable to see and feel the failure. The essence of bouncing back to life is missing in the children. The problem with a child who has always been no. 1 in everything in life is that he does not have the opportunity to build up his adversity quotient which then makes it difficult for him to recover from setbacks and to accept failure later in life. 

What is an Adversity Quotient (AQ)– An adversity quotient (AQ) is a score that measures the ability of a person to deal with adversities in his or her life. Hence, it is commonly known as the science of resilience. The term was coined by Paul Stoltz in 1997 in his book Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities.   

Famous Say “Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition- such as lifting muscle through our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.”

Stephens Covey

In order to set our children up for success, we have to prepare them by giving them the confidence to work through adversity. Resilence is one attribute that parents must consciously foster in their kids right from childhood. Otherwise, any unfortunate event or an accident can break them and make them give up on life.

This resilience to take on adversity comes by developing the feeling ‘ I can handle this’ or ‘what may be the situation, I can find the solution’. A famous dialogue from the movie 3 Idiots  – ALL IS WELL – help to tide over the difficult situation. Resilient kids who have the potential to face adverse situations and bounce back are great planners and problem solvers say, experts. Anand Kumar- founder of super 30 or Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi is one of the most influencing leaders around the world.

Resilence can be developed in each child. Here are the few measures to Build Resilience.

1)Encourage the child to develop positive and effective coping strategies
2)Teach them to figure out solutions for everyday problems themselves.
3) Empowering children to make a decision goes a long way in building their confidence.  Clearly express their best qualities such as integrity, perseverance and kindness.
4) Teach children to lose gracefully and accept it.
5) Teach kids ti to handle their emotions while it is all right to feel angry, sad, hurt what important needed is to figure out the next step.
6) Developing close ties with family and community creates a solid sense of security which in turn leads to strong values and prevents alternatives destructive paths to love and attention.
7) Help children understand that life’s events are not purely random and that most things are an outcome of past choices and actions. they must know that the bigger picture which they are unable to see, for now, will unfold only gradually and they ought to be patient.
8) Most important we need to model positive coping strategies on a consistent basis as kids also learn from observing their parents’ behaviour. we cannot afford to tell them to control their outburst while we keep flipping out at the slightest provocation.

Romal Surana – 8888014728
Child and Adolescent counsellor
NanhaGyan Foundation

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