Frustration in children is a topic that must be understood by parents. Empathizing with them is the key to being able to help them.
All human beings experience frustration countless times, from our birth to the last breath of our passage through this life. It is so frequent that most people learn to handle it little by little until they know how to deal with it and prevent it from consuming us.
However, the pace of life that we face today forces us to be more aware of children and how they are learning to handle frustration, developing tolerance and resilience.
What is frustration?
We understand frustration as the emotional experience that occurs when something that we want very much or a need is not met, it is not how we want it or it simply does not satisfy us. When this happens, we get frustrated and manifest it with anger, sadness, anguish and evenanxiety.
Our personal experiences lead us to react in different ways, our parents and their example are the greatest influence on how to react and above all, what attitude to acquire to overcome the blow and move on.
Frustration must be a temporary state, fleeting and never permanent. Some people may mistake tolerance forfrustration with tolerance to failure, which is another topic that we will develop in another article.
Young children live the stage of believing that everything revolves around them, that they deserve everything they want just by asking for it and almost automatically. They do not know how to wait, nor is it in their capacity to understand the needs of others; That is why they experience frustration more often and hence the need for them to also learn to handle it little by little, so that when they are enrolled in school, group life is not so difficult and they continue with their maturation process normally.
Frustration in preschool
Regularly, minors enter kindergarten or preschool between the ages of 3 and 4, even from the age of 2 in some cases.
Imagine the situation, your little one is in the normal stage of development where “everything is mine”, “I am the only and most important”, “I want everything immediately”. Sure, many times encouraged and reinforced at home; then, in a group of 20 children of the same age, where they all think and feel the same.
A real challenge for educators, right?
Children begin to understand that they are not the only ones, that they must wait and that not everything they want will be fulfilled now and maybe never. Frustration then appears which manifests itself in tantrum, tears, anger, tantrums or distancing from the group.
When a child is frustrated, it is important to recognize what causes it to help him understand, manage and grow, especially in school.
1 Frustration with following directions
Young children may not understand or remember more than three directions or even language and vocabulary.
If the teacher tells the child to ” pick up your toys ” (first instruction), “take them to the table ” (second instruction), and “put them in the bucket there” (third instruction, with an unfamiliar word and a reference from place), it may be too much for him and he may feel frustration at not being able to achieve what they ask him or to see that others do it and receive compliments and praise that he does not, or even receive a scold for disobedience or rebellion.
Can you see the problem? The child needs to go one step at a time to then be able to run. You have to explain, little by little and do things with the child so that she can understand it, then do it with her until she is able to do it herself.
2 Frustration in social situations
There are children who easily interact with other children, and even with adults, but the vast majority are usually somewhat shy and cannot make friends easily. The family and social customs of each family are usually those that influence how the little ones relate to others.
If your child does not relate or begins to cry when there are other children and they fight, remember that they do not know how to play in a group, many of them have not learned to share, so they need our support.
The educator show to do it and you can replicate it at homegetting into playing with them and showing them how to share, wait a turn, and be nice or patient.
3 Frustration at not being able to control yourself
That is, wait their turn, allow another child to touch their toys and not snatch or hit them, not take what is not their own. Remember that the little one is learning to handle a world bigger than his family.
One of the great ways to teach him to wait is not to give him what he asks for immediately, but until he waits a bit, to practice leaving something on the table and not touching it until they give us permission.
Frustration in the Primary stage
Here children can go from 6 to 13 years old and their development has already been such that they have great achievements, but there are still things that can suddenly generate a lot of frustration, for example:
It is late, the student has been working for a while or has just started when suddenly he lets go of crying! Either fan everything, or tear the pages out of the notebook.
Homework and homework can cause a lot of anxiety in children when they are afraid of making mistakes, repeating something many times, do not understand instructions or are tired.
Observe what it is about and then ask him to pause, breathe, go for a drink of water, rest for a certain time, and then return to the load again.
If it is a comprehension problem, it may be because he does not read well and does not understand the instructions or he could not write them; If this is the case, you have to talk with the teacher and review processes that the child does not yet have and therefore does not have the necessary tools to face the challenges assigned to him.
Do things that are assigned or commanded
In these cases, it is to do the same as with the little ones: mold them how it is done, let them see it, experience it with us and until then let them do it alone, then assign them that task or responsibility to contribute to the family.
Here, as in everything good and humane, sincere praise builds more than “constructive” criticism.
Recognize the small advances and progress of your child when he manages to control himself a little more, when he does the right thing and above all, when he goes beyond what he thought impossible.
Remember that you are forming the strong or weak character of a future father of a future woman who will face great challenges in life. How would you like to see them faced with the challenge? Collapse or get ahead?
It is in your hands to give them a gift of life.