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Are we growing children with low frustration tolerance?


Source: Google images

Source: Google images

I recently read a blog post on a young mother who prepares to send her child to pre-school for the first time. Amongst some of the things she does, she also practises walking with the child to school for a week before it actually begins! Most of her post waxed eloquent about how she has spent the past 2.5 years completely with her child, never leaving him alone, not even with grandparents, and how she was so concerned that nothing disturb his schedule of feed time and nap time, which is why she had put off sending him to school for this long as well.

She seemed a perfectly attentive and hands-on mother, yet the only thing I could think was “how stifling – both for the child and mother!”.

And the whole thing about not disturbing the child’s schedule—I look around me and see that more and more parents are increasingly fixated on not allowing anything to disturb their child’s routines. Theoretically this is a good practice – to have scheduled meal times, nap times, etc for children so that we can inculcate in them good and healthy habits and discipline. However, like any good practise, it  needs to be flexible as well, to make adjustments for those days when parents need to stay out a bit longer or expect people for dinner, for errands that must be done.

There are a lot of parents who will reschedule and replan their whole lives to suit their children, but adhered to rigidly, I can’t help feeling that this is creating a breed of youngsters who cannot adapt and who have low frustration tolerance!

I see children who have a meltdown because they are out and their food is a few minutes late (I am not talking about babies or toddlers here, but slightly older children), who become extremely cranky because their bed time has been slightly delayed, who want things ‘Now’ and who hate to even go out anywhere where there is nothing special revolving around their interests.

What are we doing?!

Our children cannot adjust to change anymore, cannot adapt, and going out with them for a holiday or for a meal becomes a chore because we are scared of their reactions and their tantrums; so we cater to all their whims and let our lives be dictated by them. I would rather oblige my child than be dictated to by her.

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Kritika Srinivasan is an Editor at ParentEdge. She has her hands full with an active young child and her writing. She is keenly interested in ways to engage and stimulate children to keep their lively and intelligent minds busy.


5 thoughts on “Are we growing children with low frustration tolerance?

  1. Sudha Kumar

    Very relevant points Kritika. Recently, I had the opportunity to interact with a family that had come all the way from Chile to India. The two kids ( 11 and 9 years old) had never traveled this far, and everything from the culture, food, language and people was new to them. Moreover they were a part of a group that was visiting historical places (which may not have been all that exciting for them)- and on a pretty hectic schedule. The kids were so well adjusted- I did not see them complain once about the pace of the trip, the adjustments they had to make regarding timing of food, or that they did not have the company of other kids of their age for the most part of the trip. I was really impressed and thought the credit went to their parents for raising them to be such no-fuss kids. So, it is possible, even in today’s day and age to be balanced in your approach to bringing up children. In fact, the more you do that, the more you equip your kids to face the real world!

    Reply
  2. Ramya Srinivasan

    Bang on target with your thoughts, Kritika (as usual, of course)

    I observed this in my kids a year back and have slowly started teaching my older one the Bengaluru mantra of “Simply adjust maadi!” – I think there are times when it works!

    Reply
  3. Shweta Chooramani

    Rightly said Kritika. Being a first time mother, i too was the brink of becoming a flustered mother sometime back, making my life and my girls life so uptight. I have become a bit relaxed now and let her enjoy or disturb her schedule on an outing. Because greatest skill which a child needs to develop is life skills and it starts with coping with change.

    Great post.

    Reply

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