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What Is The Most Challenging Thing For Kids?

People have asked what is the most challenging thing for kids? Have you thought that? What is the hardest thing that they have to do? in this article, we're going to be talking about children, what's hard for them and we're going to take it a step further than that too and we're going to talk about what we can do to help them succeed and overcome some of those hard things. 


As I think of all of the difficult things that children have to learn how to do, they have to learn how to walk and talk. I mean, think. Learning all of that language, very difficult. They learn hygiene, they have to learn how to stay in bed when they don't want to, they have to learn how to get along with other people, how to explain themselves to others, they learn social skills, they learn academic skills, life skills. 

There are so many different things that a child learns it's hard to narrow it down to the most difficult. But as I have raised 4 children of my own, as well as 12 foster children who are all treatment children between the ages of 12 and 18 as well as now worked with thousands and thousands of families all over the world, I know that there is something. 

Something that is in multiple categories of things that they might learn but it is definitely the hardest and that is self-regulation. Not necessarily just self-control because when a person is self-controlled they just tell themselves to stop. Don't do, hold back, don't share but self-regulation is honest. 

It's open, it's a person taking an honest look at who they want to become and what is holding them back. So, they examine themselves from time to time, they analyze cause and effect, they make plans for their lives and then they take deliberate steps to be able to accomplish those goals. Self-regulation. 

What I usually call it is self-government. I'm known around the world for teaching the principles and skills of self-government and we're going to get into some of those today. Probably a close second by the way of hard things that children learn, it's how to get along with other people. 

So, first, it's how do I control myself and regulate myself, and then second, how to do I get along and socialize with other people? How do I communicate and share my ideas? Well, all of the skills that I'm going to be talking about today are actually helpful with both of those hard things. 

Self-regulation is a process that involves emotional intelligence. So, when a person has emotional intelligence, that means that they know how they work, they know what's going on inside. If I have emotional intelligence, then when a feeling comes to me, maybe it's a feeling like fear, say, for instance, then I might say to myself that's fear. 

What do I want to do with that? Should I feel afraid? Would it help me to feel afraid right now? Is there another way that I can handle this problem besides feeling afraid? Is there a person I can talk to? Is there a skill that I have that I can use? Ah, yes there is. 

There is a skill called accepting "no" answers. I just didn't get my way and I can use the steps for accepting a "no" answer. So, there are 4 basic skills that I teach my children. They are following instructions, accepting "no" answers and criticism, accepting consequences, and disagreeing appropriately. 

Those skills and the skill sets that are attached to each one of them, they take care of 99% of behavioral problems and they are 100 percent focused on emotional intelligence and a person learning self-regulation or self-government for themselves. 

So, what are the steps to that skill accepting a "no" answer or criticism? The steps are you look at the person or the situation, keep a calm face, voice, and body, say okay or ask to disagree appropriately about it, which is a different skill, and then you drop the subject. 

That means that you don't think about it anymore. You decide I'm done with that. I'm not going to allow that to bother me, that is absolutely one of the hardest things for a person to do if they have not had practice at it if they have not known someone who decides to drop the subject and keep a calm face, voice, and body. 

So, it is important that parents set the example of self-government because this is going to go a long way in helping a child decide to be okay when circumstances in the past might have seemed like they were not okay. When I was young, I had a hard time getting along with my parents. 

I was strong-willed, I was emotional and it wasn't until a very kind neighbor suggested to me that I just choose to say okay and be okay every time my parents tell me to do something and not to do something that I realized had that much power. I was fighting and fighting, battling my parents, battling my own emotions until finally, I realized what? I can just choose that? So then I chose to say okay and be okay no matter what, that opened the door to more conversation about things. 

I and my parents finally understood each other because I stopped the battles. This was by far the number one lesson I learned in my life. In fact, that was the seed of self-government. So, I'm known for teaching self-government everywhere across the globe. 

I've written books on it and everything and it started when a neighbor said to me Nicholeen, have you ever thought of just saying okay? I put it to the test and my life changed, my relationships changed, everything became better and I realized the power that I truly had within. 

I have a story to tell you about how I learned to master myself, to control myself, and regulate myself but before I get to that. There are so many articles on this blog about self-government. The answer to your question plus tax is right here in this treasure trove. Essentially my neighbor taught me how to choose calmness. I didn't think it was even possible. 

In fact, I know many adults today who don't think it's possible to choose calmness but I'm telling you as a strong-willed, kind of fiery individual that choosing calmness is totally possible. In fact, it's life-changing. I decided to choose to be okay and to say okay no matter what my parents said at that time but I wasn't done with calmness yet. 

Overtime throughout my adolescent years, I chose to be okay again and again and again and I ended up developing myself a skill set for calmness, for how to be calm when someone else wasn't and how to choose calmness and help someone else get calm without losing mine at the same time. It is possible. 

Parents need this skill as much as children. In fact, if I may be so bold as to say I think the hardest thing that a parent ever learns to is self-regulation. It requires honesty, it requires deliberate action and most people don't want to put forth that type of effort. So the hardest thing we all ever learn to do is to regulate and govern ourselves so that nothing else and no one else can. 

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