By Katie Hurley, LCSW for PBS Parents
Parents often ask me why one child seems to love new challenges while another gives up easily, or why one doesn’t cry over failure but the other falls apart the moment something seems difficult. The truth is that all kids are different, and temperamentdoes play a role in perseverance and building resilience.
Don’t worry if you have a pint-sized quitter on your hands. Giving up when the going gets tough is common in the early years. Preschoolers can be quick to throw in the towel when things aren’t going according to plan. Perhaps a block tower just won’t stand tall or an apple drawn on a paper doesn’t quite match the one created in the mind. When tasks are difficult or frustrating, it’s easier to quit than to persevere and overcome the challenge. Emotions run high in the preschool crowd. Their bodies and brains are changing at a rapid pace, and they confront new and exciting information throughout each day. It’s a lot to process.
The good news is that little kids can develop a growth mindset and learn to embrace challenges. Kids can actually learn to love the process of working through difficult tasks instead of putting all of their emotional energy into the final outcome.
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