Helping a child handle frustration

Learn about: Helping a child handle frustration from Barbara Olinger, MSW,...
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Helping a child handle frustration

Young children become easily frustrated. And this is often a feeling that we want to rescue them from. It is important to remember that building frustration toleration is done through experiencing frustration, not avoiding it. Allowing our child to try something, to struggle, to get frustrated and eventually be successful allows for a great sense of mastery, which leads to self esteem. We have to observe our child during this process. That is crucial. If our child is attempting something, becomes frustrated and continues to try, we don´t have to do anything. If, on the other hand, they try, get frustrated but stop, that might mean that the level of frustration is too great and we can gently step in saying you were trying really hard. It can be frustrating. Do you want any help? We don´t want to preempt what could be a very good experience in building self esteem but we also don´t want our child to be immobilized by too great a level of frustration. So observing our child before we step in can give us important information on how our child is managing their level of frustration.

Learn about: Helping a child handle frustration from Barbara Olinger, MSW,...


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Barbara Olinger, MSW

Parenting Consultant

Barbara Olinger has her master's degree in social work and has been working with children and families in both therapeutic and educational settings for over 30 years. She is currently Director of Family Development at the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside and has a private practice focusing on parenting education and teacher training.  She is the author of the parenting book, Growing From the Roots: A Practical Guide to the Art of Parenting, now on DVD along with Welcoming Your Second Child. She has two sons, ages 23 and 20 years old.  

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