Frustration is a powerful emotion that is very familiar to children. You can help them work though frustration with these strategies.
Introduce “Not Yet”
Let children know that just because they can’t do something now, that does not mean they won’t ever be able to do it. Teach them the phrase, “I just can’t do it yet.” Remind them that learning something new takes time and practice. You might say, “Remember when you did not know how to button your shirt. You tried and tried and now you can do it all on your own!”
Breathe, Think, Do
When children have a frustrating moment, it can be difficult for them to find the tools to calm down. To help, teach them these steps:
- Breathe: Encourage children to slowly take three deep breaths.
- Think: Help children come up with some possible plans to solve their problem.
- Do: Together, choose a plan and try it out. If it doesn’t work, try another.
A Great Wait
Patience pays off in all areas of life. A great time to practice patience is while you are waiting in line. Try creating a fun challenge like counting people in line or making up a story about something children see.
You can help children to be more persistent when you show them that mistakes are okay—in fact, they are an important part of learning. Let children see you make mistakes and stay positive after making them.