Adaptability has become such a buzzword in major businesses and corporations that we rarely think of it as a skill which can affect a child’s life too much. However, children also need to be taught to be adaptable in everyday life so that they can learn the skill of thinking with more flexibility.
Raise children with adaptability (6 techniques)
Kids who have been taught how to think flexibly from an early age are better able to cope with changes around them as well as problem-solving more effectively, making them a more rounded person at a faster stage in life. But these skills are not simply learned on the playground, and can even hold back a child’s development if they are not taught and nurtured by parents and family members.
Here are 6 techniques that can ensure your child can understand and better cope with adaptable thinking.
1. Begin by softening your stance on “The Rules”
- While it is common knowledge that kids thrive when there is a set of rules in place, it allows them to understand right from wrong, fairness, and kindness.
- But rules can also help them understand more simple things such as how to play games and interact with other children and people.
- If children are unable to understand that “The Rules” are not a set-in-stone concept that can be occasionally bent or broken, it can manifest in behavioral problems.
- Children who do not understand that their house rules are different to other people’s house rules end up having a difficult time in behaving appropriately with other children or adults.
- Every parent has heard the old adage “but THEY are allowed to do that” showing the child’s rigidity in their thinking
- By allowing the rules to be bent or softened every now and again, a child can learn that while it is not a permanent change to the rules, this semi-permanent change comes with new challenges.
- Allowing a child to experience this softening of rules opens up the ability to problem solve more effectively.
- If a child, for example, is allowed to stay up for an hour extra but is not allowed to use the time for watching TV or playing a video game, they will still want to take advantage of this hour but may use it to draw or read instead of what they had intended, which shows a willingness to adapt to the new rule in a more constructive way.
- Allowing this concerted rule bending every once in a while can help a child to understand that rules and plans don’t always pan out the way we expect and how to cope.
2. Change routines occasionally
- As with rules, kids need routine, but being too rigid with routines can hinder a child’s ability to cope with changes when they arise.
- Changing routines slightly every day or week can help a child understand that routines, like some rules, are not set in stone.
- Start small, perhaps by doing homework before dinner one day and after on another.
3. Allow your kids to experience failure
- Kids that experience failure will obviously be upset by it, but it also allows a child to understand and rise to new challenges.
- It is important not to chastise a child for failure, but rather talk through how they plan to overcome this in the future.
- Allowing your child to understand and figure out how to succeed allows them to become more mindful and adaptable.
4. Encourage kids to share early on
- Kid’s don’t like to share, but ultimately they will have to figure out how to get through life as a well-adjusted person.
- Encouraging this behavior early on is a brilliant way to increase their flexible thinking capacity.
- Explaining to your child that sharing is important will allow them to see that others have feelings and wants which will help them become more emotionally aware of others, and not only become more emotionally intelligent but help them think more critically and logically.
5. Become an adaptable parent
- Kids are not all the same and need to be managed in different ways through different parenting styles
- Do not be afraid to change your styles to suit individual kids or even the same kids on different days
- Kids will learn that your ability to adapt is normal and they will begin to emulate this
6. Praise kids when they show adaptability
- To ensure these behaviors stick, always praise a child when they show adaptability.