The importance of being challenged and its benefits for learning
“We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges”
Challenges present themselves in many forms. It is important to be able to face different challenges, understand them and overcome them. For young children it is a good practice to let them face a few obstacles and challenges and see how they react to it, and what kind of skills and tools they use to overcome challenges. In early education, a few challenges may be introduced to little children, with an adult available for support at all times.
So how does one help little ones face and overcome challenges?
- Set a good example: As an adult, when you face challenges, your little one looks to you to see how you overcome them. Model healthy stress management skills at home. It is good to communicate with your little ones even when you are stressed. For example, “I am going to take a few deep breaths before I deal with this problem.”
- Let them face their own challenges: As parents, our first instinct is to protect our little ones from challenges and stressful situations. However, protecting them always could lead them to missing opportunities to learn how to deal with stressful situations. Helping them face smaller challenges and stressful situations equips them with the best stress management skills as they enter adulthood.
- Be your child’s safety net: While you encourage your little ones to take risks and face challenges on their own, a trusting and warm relationship will make them feel safe and confident. Building this trust and warmth, will also enable them to face challenges with the knowledge that they have your support and guidance at all times.
Letting little ones face a few challenges and overcome stressful situations enables them to grow into confident young adults, who can adjust to different situations and overcome adversities with more efficiency.