Parents, do you wish that your kids were a little more considerate and accommodating ? In other words, wish that they would be less upset and fussy when situations are different than usual ? Are your stays stress-free when visiting family back home ? Unfortunately, cranky, fussy and whiny kids tend to make your stay far from enjoyable. The good news is that, it’s possible to instill sense of adaptability in your child’s life.
Living abroad with extremely busy lives, often creates a world of structure, routines and schedules. These results in a mostly predictable lives and routines. As children grow up, we hope that these early experiences will be internalized, and that they will emerge strong in a world of flux and change. But is that actually happening?
Tips on raising adaptability kids:
1) Keeping a positive attitude: If parents are positive during transitions, it’s more likely your kids will be too. When in a new country, the likelihood of a child adapting e.g. enjoying the local delicacies, connecting with the culture and people will happen if it’s modeled by the parents.
2) Avoid casting routines in stone: It’s good to have routines but avoid following like the Bible. It’s ok to change routines occasionally giving the child the opportunity to adapt to it. It may be a challenge initially, but things settle soon.
3) Be firm: Avoid accommodating to your child’s every demand. Encourage alternatives by talking to your child. This helps develop both discipline and flexibility.
4) Trying new things: Exposing your kids to new people, foods and environments from time to time. There is nothing better than teaching your kids about the world while exposing them to new things often.
Change, uncertainty, and transition are realities of life. The extent to which children effectively respond to these realities can have a significant bearing on their life course. An encouraging fact is that research and practice have shown that children can be flexible, resilient and adaptable little humans, unless their environment prevents them from being so. Nature certainly plays a role in determining your little one’s personality, but let’s not forget the power of nurture. With time and practice, you can be successful in teaching your little dictator “the art of flexibility”.
Written by Vinti Mittal
Clinical Member of SAC, SAC Registered Counsellor, CMSAC, Reg CLR
MS (Counselling), Grad. Cert (Counselling),
PGDCA (Comp Sci). BSc (Hons)