Creative Child

How to Turn Your Child’s Challenges into Opportunities

by Deborah Song

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There are several ways to help your child’s turn his challenges into opportunities. In many cases, you will learn that people like Albert Einstein, who also had dyslexia, triumphed not in spite of their challenges but because of them. And in many cases, a child’s pain points not only come with hidden advantages, but they end up shaping t heir life mission. Max, for instance, donates 5 percent of his profits to organizations that support learning disabilities. Here are five critical components when it comes to helping your child turn challenges into opportunities.

  1. Empathize first. The very first thing you should do whenever your child tells you about a problem is listen. When you immediately try to solve their problem, or even if you try to lift up their spirits by boosting their self-esteem, your child will have to fight harder to be heard. Wishing away their problem is a natural knee-jerk reaction of any loving parent. But it’s important to hear what they have to say first, and let them be heard, even if you don’t believe they should be feeling the way they do.
  1. Don’t ignore the problem. Sweeping the white elephant in the room won’t get rid of the problem. The degree of a child’s challenges can vary from minor to severe to life-threatening. In almost all of these situations, however, early detection and care is one of the best ways to improve a situation. If you don’t know what level of attention you should be paying to your child’s challenge, talk with a schoolteacher, or professional who can provide better guidance.

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  1. Find a support group of like-minded people. Not only is it important for your child to be around people who understand him, but being surrounded by others who have endured similar circumstances can also provide a great resource and support system for parents as well.
  1. Focus on what your child can do. Sometimes we become so focused on what our kids are struggling with that we forget about the immense ocean of talents that they do possess. Think outside the box. If your child’s strength isn’t standardized test taking, find some other outlet for him to discover his strengths and talents. 
  1. Follow your child’s lead. When it comes to discovering your child’s gifts, it’s important to follow our child’s lead. While it may be the role of parents to support and encourage, it is not our job to rescue and spoon-feed our kids a perfect life. Once we have taken the steps to listen, shift our mindset, seek help and support, it’s now our turn to take a back seat and let our kids take the lead. Your child will show you what they are interested in and what empowers them. All we can do is support them on their journey.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of worklifeparent.com, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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