the word challenge being written on a blackboard

A challenge is an activity or life stage that requires great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully. Therefore, challenges will test a person’s ability and aren’t supposed to be easy. They will test you and stretch you in order for you to succeed. And, in the process, it will require you to jump over hurdles and possibly make you frustrated at times.

Challenges also test problem-solving skills, resilience, motivation and perseverance. Children should not run away from challenges but run towards them, even though they don’t feel like it. Undertaking a tough task may not be easy, but it’s a good thing to push ourselves and not always be ‘comfortable’.

Helping Children to Deal with Challenges

Parents can help their children overcome challenges by encouraging them to see the bigger picture.

  • What does the end result look like? What will they have achieved by the end of the challenge? Some challenges are easy to visualise, like winning a race or beating a time. They may need help visualising academic and other challenges.
  • How are they going to feel when they have completed the challenge? Happy, elated, proud? Get children to verbalise how they might feel.
  • Parents can remind their children about the importance of hard work and the reward at the end – passing an exam or showing off a mastered task. How will this help their future career or progress?
  • Help the child to break the challenge down so it is not so overwhelming for them. Get them to see how much closer they are getting to their end goal and how much progress they are making.

Children are faced with challenges regularly (just as adults are) and they need to embrace them and look forward to completing them successfully. Encourage them to tackle life’s challenges head-on – it will lead to a sense of pride, fulfillment and achievement. All positive feelings to have!

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