Encouraging growth through hardship

American children have had a tough few years, but parents can help kids grow through the crisis, writes Anya Kamenetz in The New York Times.

“By around age 8, most children are developing the cognitive maturity required to see that negative experiences may have benefits,”

writes Kamenetz.

That doesn’t mean parents should “push” kids to grow through bad times. It’s better for parents to think of themselves as “expert companions,” says psychologist Richard G. Tedeschi,

“guiding children to a new, and potentially better, place.”

That means not just teaching your kids that growth through hardship is possible, but preparing them to handle difficult emotions, listening to their experiences

“without judging or downplaying anything,”

and them helping them derive new meaning from their struggles. And encourage them to help others, which can “lend perspective” to their experiences and expand

“on the feelings of compassion that arise when we encounter difficulties.” [The New York Times]

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