Raising Mentally Strong Kids in a Mentally Unstable World

What does it mean to be mentally strong? It means you can rise above failure or hardship and not let your negative feelings dismantle you. Let’s discuss how to implement this in parenting and what it takes to raise mentally strong kids in a mentally challenging world.

mentally strong child

Raising mentally strong kids in a mentally unstable world.

Everyone struggles with being mentally strong in the face of difficulty. And according to how one was raised, people handle their struggles differently.

Some have everything they could need and want, yet still struggle mentally.

Statistics say that 18% of the population after the age of 18 will have some kind of mental illness, and that percentage is rapidly increasing, and the age becoming younger and younger.

You or someone you know most likely has suffered from depression or some kind of mental illness.

So, where do your kids fit into the equation? Is there a way to prepare them for the hardships of life and help them beat the odds of obtaining a mental illness at some point in their life?

There is so much hardship going on in this world that our kids will have to face. So much that causes a parent to question whether they should move out to the middle of nowhere and live like the Amish instead of sending their kids to school. 

But before doing that, remember that sheltering your kids more won’t fix the problem.

At a certain age, their curiosity will get the best of them. So instead of keeping them from all things that could potentially harm them emotionally and mentally, why not equip them to face the world and all of its confusion with you by their side?

Shouldn’t this be our goal?

To prepare our kids for the world they WILL grow up in, not for the world WE WANT them to grow up in?

Why you need to be informed on what kids deal with today

We know as well as anyone how difficult life can be. And as different generations will experience different challenges, it’s vital that we apply ourselves to our child’s generation and not think they should or will grow up in the one we did. 

When children are younger, it’s much easier to know what they need emotionally. They need snuggles, kisses, and a whole lot of love that is easy to give when they don’t talk back.

But as children grow older, especially when they reach the age of 7 or 8, parents will need to better educate themselves on what their kids will face in today’s society and how they can helpfully guide them.

So join me today as we talk about why it’s important to educate yourself so you can help your child thrive, emotionally and mentally, in a world that’s so confusing.

Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who REFUSE to do These 8 Things

mentally strong kids struggle too

1. Keep them from experiencing hardship or failure

As a parent, it’s hard to see your child struggle with something.

When they are little, it’s our instinct to help them with something they can’t seem to do — like getting back up after falling down when they are learning to walk.

But I realized that once I stepped back and let my kid struggle through something, he was much more capable than I anticipated.

Hardship and failure are a part of life. Instead of keeping them from anything and everything difficult, allow them to struggle, starting when they are young.

This will give them the skills to know that if something challenging comes their way, they can face it and get through it independently.

Now, keep in mind that your child’s personality type should filter some of this. 

Some children are more sensitive than others. No one knows your kids like you, so make sure you allow failure and hardship in your child’s life, but don’t exacerbate them.

Be attentive to what they can handle.

It’s our job as parents to guide our kids, but don’t mistake that for doing everything for them.

One incredible way to help your child navigate their struggles is through journaling. Check out MY LIFE JOURNALS for kids.

mentally strong kids have feelings

2. Let them navigate their negative emotions alone

This ties hand in hand with the above. Letting your kids figure something out alone doesn’t mean leaving them in the pit. Empathy is one of the best things you can bestow on your child.

Get in the hole with them, even if they brought it upon themselves, and help them see that they CAN get out and why they need to. 

More often than not, parents have to do this with their children to show them that it’s okay to fail. To do that, we have to directly identify with them — go back to your childhood and try to remember what it’s like to experience certain things at that age. But DON’T try and fix them.

Ask them if they want your advice. If they don’t, just leave it and show them you’re there for them.

That’s the beauty of being a parent. Most of what your child will experience is something we have been through at one point in our life. 

Use it as a tool for parenting, but don’t disregard or lessen what they are going through either. 

If you’re looking for a way to connect with your kids on a deeper level, check out this incredible dinner talk card game – OUR MOMENTS . Conversation starters that will resonate with your kids for emotional bonding and a great neutral way for them to open up to you. With questions like “If you were a superhero, who would you be?” you will find yourself laughing and uniquely connecting as a family.

a kid in time out

3. Isolate them when they make a mistake

It’s easy to send a kid to their room when they have misbehaved.

But often, parents don’t realize what kind of massage this is sending their child — when you mess up, you’re alone and left to figure out your big emotions by yourself. When isolated young kiddos turn into teens, they associate isolation with bad behavior. 

Another aspect of sending a child away when they have misbehaved is that there is no resolution or solution to the problem. If you don’t walk with them through the solution for next time, how can they grow? Another option is this.

“How can we solve this problem? You hit your sister, and that was unkind. I can’t let you be unkind. Take a break and think about what could have been done differently.”

Again, this has a lot to do with knowing your child and how you can teach them to solve their problems, own their faults, and grow. If you’re going to do a time-out, have them stay in the same room as you. Don’t shut them in their room and leave them to figure out how to navigate their feelings alone. 

Tell them you’ll wait there with them until they are ready to calm down and figure things out. 

As they get older, they won’t feel isolated from you whenever they make a mistake or have big feelings, but instead, invite you in.

mentally strong kids aren't left alone

4. Let them think their failures define them

When a child messes up in a big or small way, it’s vital that you go the distance with them. What does that mean? 

When someone fails, their minds can go to dark places.

Assure them that it’s okay to fail. Point out ways YOU have failed. You can do this by apologizing to them any time you have wronged them — this also helps them learn how to take responsibility if their failure or mistake hurt someone else. 

One of the best parenting books I’ve read is called Parenting by Paul Tripp. Check it out if you want a fresh perspective on the needs of your kids.

boy on a lake

5. Leave them to figure out their problems alone

Let’s say your tween didn’t turn in his homework on time, and you received a letter from the teacher that he needs to finish it; otherwise, he will fail.

Do you think you should continue to remind him, even though you had been for the past week? Or let him try and remember himself and suffer the consequences if he doesn’t? 

I think both are fine. You can remind your son, but also don’t coddle and nag him about it. 

If I know one thing about kids, they have difficulty remembering stuff. In fact, it’s biologically true that as their brains grow, especially in the time of puberty, they have a hard time retaining information.

So it’s perfectly okay for you as the parent to help them remember. 

But it’s not okay for them to be lazy. 

So remind them, but let them go the distance. If he fails because he didn’t follow through, then he fails. He will hopefully learn his lesson next time. 

Parenting is many times about balancing correction with encouragement. On the one hand, you want to be their loving authority who guides them, but on the other hand, you can falter by expecting perfection.

mentally strong kids do chores

6. Not encourage them to take responsibility if they hurt someone

With making mistakes in life and failing, another element of adulting has to do with taking responsibility for your actions.

That means if you wronged someone or did something wrong, it’s important to learn to go the extra mile and own up to it. 

It’s a popular idea that you shouldn’t have your children apologize for who they are. Well, there’s a difference. Apologizing for something you did wrong is not apologizing for who you are unless who you are is wrong. Do you see the difference?

If we teach our children that they are not their mistakes, then one should have nothing to do with the other. 

Apologizing for your wrongs, in essence, is humility. When we can teach our children the beauty of humility, many other incredible characteristics will follow suit. 

In our current society, practicing humility or putting others first is unpopular. Why has selflessness become a negative thing?

It’s because people mistake selflessness for being burdened and selfishness for self-care. 

Taking care of yourself SHOULD come first. But since when has taking care of yourself meant negating other people’s feelings? It shouldn’t. 

Take care of yourself AND be selfless. 

Practice humility AND set boundaries. 

In a world breeding self-centered, narcissistic people, we have the chance to show our children that joy can be found in caring for others and ourselves. 

boy looking at phone

7. Let them have unlimited and unmonitored screens time

If you’re a parent in today’s digital world, it should be a no-brainer to teach your child digital wellness and practice it yourself. Kids are suffering from mental health issues or, worse, because of unmonitored tech usage.

As I educate a lot on this topic, here are a few options to help you nurture digital wellness in your home.

Bark has a few options for keeping your kids safe online while making it easy for parents to do so. Parenting in a tech world can feel overwhelming. It’s hard to keep up with the latest. But thankfully, Bark has your back.

Bark Premium (Parental Control App – use this link or code WFTBBLOG to try it for an EXTRA one-month FREE) – Read more about Bark Premium; perfect if your child already has a phone, but you need a parental control app to do the heavy lifting of content monitoring.

The Bark Phone – Perfect for parents looking to find their children an affordable phone that protects them from all angles – internet, unsafe apps, messaging, cyberbullying, emails, etc. Starting at $49/mo, all plans include a phone, Bark Premium, and wireless service, with no contract commitment. For younger kids, you, as the parent, can enable the phone for messaging and calls ONLY. And as they mature, you can allow more freedoms/apps (any app you wish). This phone grows WITH your child and eliminates the need to purchase multiple phones at various times in their maturity.

Computer use – When it comes to their computers, you can use Covenant Eyes.

TV’s, gaming consoles, and at-home protection – Bark Home (manage screen time and filter websites on all of the internet-connected devices in your house — including gaming consoles, TVs, and more. VidAngel (Skip or mute what you don’t want to see or hear on popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.)

Along with implementing safeguards for your child, it’s equally important to have frequent discussions around digital use. As you may do your best to protect them, they could go to school and experience something at school on a friend’s phone. Parents should establish a relationship with their children that is transparent. They need to know they can come to you with what they’ve experienced without fear of punishment.

Read more on digital wellness here.

child doing chores

8. NOT make them work for their money or have chores

Don’t take my word for it because I can’t find the exact article I read this out of, but kids who are given chores during their adolescence end up following through on tasks WAY better than kids who don’t. 

Have your kids do chores, because it will help them later on when they are employed and have to adult.

Here is a great

Positive parenting tools for every parent 

Digital Wellness:

Bark Premium (Parental Control App – use this link or code WFTBBLOG to try it for an EXTRA one-month FREE) – Read more about Bark Premium in my review here; perfect if your child already has a phone, but you need a parental control app to do the heavy lifting of content monitoring. 

The Bark Phone – Perfect for parents looking to find their children an affordable phone that protects them from all angles – internet, unsafe apps, messaging, cyberbullying, emails, etc. Starting at $49/mo, all plans include a phone, Bark Premium, and wireless service, with no contract commitment. For younger kids, you, as the parent, can enable the phone for messaging and calls ONLY. And as they mature, you can allow more freedoms/apps (any app you wish). This phone grows WITH your child and eliminates the need to purchase multiple phones at various times in their maturity.

Computer use – When it comes to their computers, you can use Covenant Eyes. 

TV’s, gaming consoles, and at-home protection – Bark Home (manage screen time and filter websites on all of the internet-connected devices in your house — including gaming consoles, TVs, and more. VidAngel (Skip or mute what you don’t want to see or hear on popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.)

Screen Time Checklist Printable for Kids – FREE if you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Just fill out your info below. 

Book List for Kids and Parents:

Check out my recommended books for parenting

Journaling for Kids

When a child is old enough to start drawing, coloring, or writing, journaling is an incredible way to help your kids better express themselves. Check out our Kid’s Printable Journals — created specifically to help children better express their feelings, encourage gratitude, and spark the imagination. 

Chores for Kids:

Magnetized Chalk Chart for Fridge

Implementing chores and structure in your child’s daily life is a beneficial tool to teach them follow through, discipline, and respect. We use this chore chart in our family to help our kids keep track of their progress and keep you from constantly reminding them of their daily tasks. 

If you’re looking for something simpler, this is also a good option. 

Chore Chart Printable – Get it NOW from the convenience of your own printer.

If you’re looking for something you can print out immediately and start implementing chores in your home today, check out this CHORE CHART PRINTABLE. With a Mandalorian theme, it makes for a lighthearted and fun way to encourage kids to do their daily and weekly “missions.”

Emotional Connectivity with Your Kids:

Connecting on a deeper level emotionally with your child is CRUCIAL and sometimes more difficult. We play THIS GAME often in our family to create a safe space for our kids to share their questions and emotions without judgment. 

We even offer an “Exemption Time” for the duration of this game, where anything he tells us is off the table for consequences. 

Check out these other posts on emotional connectivity on the blog!

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