The Importance of Struggle: Why Allowing Your Child to Struggle Can Lead to Personal Growth and Development

18 April 2023   |   by Julissa DiStefano   
We all want the best for our children as parents. We want them to be successful, happy, and have full lives. But, in our zeal to protect them, we frequently insulate them from the unavoidable trials of life.

We may believe we are doing them a favor, but we are actually doing them a disservice. It's tempting to step in and address our children's problems when they're struggling. We wish to alleviate their suffering and set things right. Nevertheless, in reality, struggle is necessary for our children's growth and development. Here are ten explanations for this:

It's tempting to step in and address our children's problems when they're struggling. We wish to alleviate their suffering and set things right. Nevertheless, in reality, struggle is necessary for our children's growth and development. Here are three explanations for this:

Prepares for the future

Life is full of obstacles. Our children will confront challenges throughout their life, from education to relationships to work. We are preparing them for the future by enabling them to suffer now. We're showing kids that they can overcome challenges and emerge stronger on the other side. We are providing them the confidence to face any problems that come their way.

Shapes their personalities

As our children face adversity, they gain valuable life skills such as perseverance, patience, and tenacity. Kids learn that success does not always come easily and that it often needs hard effort and determination. These are significant characteristics that will benefit them in many aspects of their lives.

Teaches failure

Nobody likes failing, but it is an unavoidable part of life. Allowing our children to struggle and even fail teaches them that making mistakes is OK. We are demonstrating to them that failure is not the end of the world, but rather a chance to learn and grow. When our children face adversity, they develop resilience and adaptability, which will serve them well throughout their lives.

Leads to growth

Struggle is an essential component of growth. It allows us to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones and realize our full potential. With the process of neuroplasticity, our brains have the ability to adapt and change. The more we repeat a tough action on a regular basis, the easier it becomes with time. Suffering also helps children develop character traits such as persistence, attention, and determination.

Teaches problem-solving

Struggle teaches problem-solving abilities. Children develop creative problem-solving abilities and recognize that mistakes and failures are vital learning experiences. They also strengthen their analytical thinking skills and recognize that if one answer does not work, it is acceptable to attempt another.

Promoted mindset

Struggle promotes a developing mindset. It teaches children that their brains can grow, that they can accomplish difficult tasks, and that failures are simply opportunities to learn. Children who accept adversity develop resilience and a love of learning.

Enhances self-regulation

Children learn how to manage their emotions via struggle. It teaches kids to accept their feelings without criticizing them and to use techniques like as deep breathing or writing to deal through challenging emotions.

Self-regulation is the ability to control one's feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in order to achieve a goal. It entails dealing with difficult emotions so that they do not become overwhelming. Parents can assist their children by guiding them through the process of taking deep breaths and developing methods for dealing with irritation. Talking freely about failure and sharing stories of people who overcame failure on their way to success educates children that failure isn't unique to them and shouldn't have a negative affect on their self-image or self-esteem.

It's natural for us as parents to want to shield our children from any form of struggle or pain. We fail to recognize, however, that protecting kids from every obstacle might stifle their personal growth and development. We deprive our children the opportunity to learn and practice crucial life skills when we continuously rescue them.

Teaches resilience

One of the most important advantages of adversity is the development of resilience. Children who are given the opportunity to struggle and solve problems develop life skills that make life much easier. They are the kids who are eager to try new things and don't mind seeming ridiculous while doing so. Children who are rescued when things go hard, on the other hand, may experience the world to be scarier and less safe. They may become more self-conscious and concerned about how they would appear if they fail. Assisting too much leads to less daring conduct in children, who miss out on fun and new experiences.

Emotional control

Struggling, especially for youngsters, may be challenging and overwhelming. It is crucial to remember, however, that going through difficult times can result in personal growth and development, including emotional regulation. Children who work through their challenges on their own learn how to use coping skills to maintain equilibrium during stressful situations.

Parents are extremely important in teaching their children how to handle their emotions. Parents may assist their children realize that tough emotions are a natural part of life and that it is okay to have them by modeling good coping methods such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and self-reflection. Children who feel encouraged and empowered to control their emotions are more likely to develop into well-rounded individuals capable of dealing with stress and overcoming adversity.

Understanding the Fine Line Between Struggling and Struggling Too Much

There is a fine line between struggling and struggling too much. Children should not be forced to struggle with things that are inappropriate for their age. Parents may educate their children that it is acceptable to seek assistance when necessary, and they can offer them with skills such as attempting a task independently a few times before seeking assistance.

Of course, when our children are struggling, we must provide them with support and advice. We don't want them to feel alone or abandoned. But, there is a narrow line between supporting our children and shielding them from the difficulties that will eventually help them grow and develop.

Thus, the next time your youngster is having difficulty, resist the impulse to intervene and solve everything. Instead, offer encouragement and support, and let them know you believe in them. Help them build the skills and tactics they need to overcome their obstacles, but let them do the work. You will be giving them the most valuable gift of all: the capacity to confront life's obstacles with confidence and perseverance.

Julissa DiStefano

I’m Julissa and I’ve had the opportunity to work with parents and children for the last 15 years. In those years I've had the honor and privilege to work with many different families and different parenting styles, child rearing techniques and familial practices.

All author posts