Helping children with bipolar deal with failure sets them up for success; here’s how to help:
Validate their feelings
It’s tempting to want to minimize feelings of disappointment for kids in an attempt to cheer them up and divert their attention elsewhere. However, remember children may need some comfort before thinking about other alternatives. More importantly, the more practice he gets in learning to experience, and tolerate, disappointing and distressing feelings, it becomes less difficult the next time. The best thing to do is to validate their experience and provide comfort.
Reprioritize what really matters
While we want our children to accomplish great things—whether that’s high grades or overall happiness—we may be sending the wrong message, perhaps through out own behavior. Instead of a pressure to succeed, try to instill a sense of character and empathy and caring for others above all else.
Make it ok to fail
Without experience to strengthen a resilience muscle, adolescents will often be afraid to fail. However, as adults, we realize that failure is a great learning experience, especially if we have someone supporting us so we can stand back and reassess things and create a new game plan. The only way to develop resiliency is through failure and how we deal with it. The best thing we can do is make it safe for children to fail and start again.
Let them learn
It’s ok to want to protect our kids from distressing experiences, but if we do this too long, it will impede their ability to be able to roll with the punches. When we intervene it also sends a message we don’t have confidence in their ability to deal with certain situations. Children need to be able to handle situation and problem solve so they can build up confidence they will be able to handle things in the future.
Sources: “Help Kids Deal With Rejection,” childmind.org
bp Magazine and bphope.com are dedicated to inspiring and providing information to people living with bipolar disorder and their families, caregivers, and health-care professionals. bp Magazine works to empower those diagnosed with bipolar to live healthy, fulfilling lives by delivering first-person success stories—including celebrity profiles and essays by people with lived experience—as well as informative articles addressing topics such as relationships, employment, sleep, exercise, stress reduction, mood management, treatments, and cutting-edge news and research.
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