5 ways to help children build frustration tolerance
Children with low frustration tolerance frequently exhibit impatience, impulsivity, and demands for quick gratification. Check out five ways to help children build frustration tolerance.
When we realise that we are unable to complete a task that is important to us, we experience frustration, which is an unpleasant feeling that causes us to feel unhappy, angry, and helpless. The ability to tolerate frustration is a psychological trait that may be learned and refined. Children with low frustration tolerance frequently exhibit impatience, impulsivity, and demands for quick gratification. They experience fits of rage, a lack of control, and tears and become egocentric people who do not like having boundaries placed on them because they regard those boundaries as a threat to their desires. Since they will expose their shortcomings, they avoid taking on new challenges. Therefore, it's extremely important to build frustration tolerance in children. (Also read: Teach kids how to express anger in a healthy way: Psychologist explains )
Alexandra Borisevich, Parenting Expert and Coach, suggested five ways to help children build frustration tolerance in her recent Instagram post.
In order to tolerate frustration, we must be exposed to it. It can be helpful to observe your child and try to identify the gap between mild frustration and extreme frustration. We want to refrain from helping them through mild frustration, but we do want to offer more support or redirection when we see they are escalating towards extreme frustration. The more they are exposed to frustration, the longer they will be willing to stay in a frustrated state and continue towards finding a solution to their problem.
Games are a great way to help a child build frustration tolerance because it gives them the opportunity to practice losing, concentration, and setbacks.
When you see your child is about to participate in an activity that typically results in frustration, it can be helpful to name the feeling in advance and discuss some coping strategies. This can sound like: "When we play with blocks and try to build tall towers, it can be really frustrating when those blocks fall! Sometimes they fall over and over again. It's so hard, but I know you can do hard things. I wonder what we can do when we start to feel frustrated. Maybe a deep breath can help?"
Books are a great way to help children navigate and better understand their feelings without putting them directly in the spotlight.
Scaffolding is when an adult bridges the gap between what a child can do and what they are still learning to do. It encourages children to problem-solve and complete tasks that are just outside their current abilities. This can be done by breaking down learning into smaller chunks, asking probing questions, or offering tools to support the child's goals. For example, if you have a child trying to build a tall tower and are getting frustrated, you might ask: "I wonder what would happen if we put a big block at the bottom instead of a small one?"