To improve frustration tolerance FIRST acknowledge emotion, effort, stress...THEN break tasks into steps.

How do I improve my child’s frustration tolerance?

Did your child inherit your perfectionist tendencies?  As I visited my father last week and he took me step-by-step through his home design project that he completed alone, yet was worthy of a team, I couldn’t help but smile over how similar we are.

My father and I manage perfectionism well as adults because we are fully developed and have access to cool areas of the brain that are responsible for helping to stay focused, solve problems and remain calm.  Unfortunately, children don’t have access to these neural pathways yet.

How do you suppose the combination of “strong drive to perform at a high level” and “unable to problem solve or regulate frustration “manifest in children?

Tantrums.  Meltdowns.  Negative self-talk and self-blame.  Oh, my!

Here are the top 3 holistic ways to help a child with attention, focus, positivity and calm.

1.    Praise effort.

Recognizing what a child is doing well (e.g. spending 10 minutes on challenging math homework) floods their body with happy chemicals and teaches them that the PROCESS is worthy and leads to good results.

2.    Share your story.

Tell your child about a time when you hit a roadblock and how you worked through it, both as a child and a recent example as an adult.  Sharing your story helps normalize their feelings and helps them understand that learning is a PROCESS at every age.

3.    Soothe their adrenals.

Huh?!  Quick lesson: adrenal glands are responsible for responding to stress so we need to care for them so they can do a good job.  Foot rubs, hand rubs, low back rubs and kids yoga are great ways to soothe adrenals and expand a child’s capacity for calm.

Improve your child’s frustration tolerance and teach them how to feel good about attempting any task!

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One Comment

  • Dad says:

    Maybe some similarity. However, it’s been my history to view myself as only average and it’s been a lifelong debate that my perception is not accurate.

    In comparison, I’ve viewed those with differing accomplishments as just lacking in good decisions, curiosity, will to push themselves or some other choice to not be or do everything they can be.

    To some extent, I measure this view with my own children, because their learning abilities have spanned the spectrum from near genius to challenged. In every case each has met their education and professional goals, even when they didn’t look possible at some stage.

    The only difference in both ends of the spectrum in our case was the parenting involvement and commitment.

    So you can understand why I don’t see myself as others do.

    With much love and pride, Dad

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