Help your Child Build Frustration Tolerance

By Team SpringUP | 4min read

As parents, most of us have witnessed our children getting frustrated while solving a puzzle or a math problem. They get upset and angry and want to give up on the task, seeking something easier. They may even lash out in anger. What do you do in such a situation?

Do you fix the problem for them? Give them an easier task? Allow them to walk away from the problem? Or soothe them when they blame the task or the people around them? How do you feel? Do you struggle to deal with your child’s frustration?

While dealing with a problem or task, most of us feel frustrated. Learning to deal with the frustration and building Frustration Tolerance in your child one-step at a time could be a skill for a lifetime.

What is Frustration Tolerance?

Frustration Tolerance is the ability to deal with the frustration that comes from you not being able to do something or when things don’t go your way. It is the ability to stay on the problem/situation and solve it or deal with it.

Individuals with low frustration tolerance tend to get agitated and give up on tasks more easily than others. Most tasks require persistent efforts to learn and complete, but low frustration tolerance makes the child impatient to give it another try or stay on task. Low frustration tolerance could also come in the way of relationships as children might tend to lash out or give up on people when things aren’t going their way.

How does Frustration Tolerance help?

Building frustration tolerance helps children set and achieve goals. It helps them solve problems when they hit a roadblock without giving up. It helps them work on relationships and they can be better team players and collaborators. On the whole, this is a skill that will help them deal with frustration and thrive in all circumstances.


What can you do to build Frustration Tolerance in Your child?

  • Acknowledge your feelings & thoughts
    How do you feel when your child is struggling with something? Acknowledge and soothe your feelings first to be available for your child and to figure out what to do. Try not to fix the problem however tempted you feel to do so.
  • Acknowledge your child’s feelings
    It is important to acknowledge your child’s feelings of anger and frustration. Teach them ways to express this in healthy ways. Teach them to use words to express their frustration. It could be as simple as talk to a parent and seek help. A simple ‘I’m stuck’ goes a long way.
  • Accept the situation
    Help your child realize that it is OK to feel anger at the problem. Remind them that these things happen and that they will be able to figure it out. Counter irrational thoughts like “This always happens to me!” by reminding them of other times they felt incompetent but were able to learn & do.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice
    Just like any other skill, frustration tolerance requires practice. Start small and build up from there. Help your child build coping skills like breathing, drinking a glass of water, taking a break when feeling frustrated and then coming back to the task. Consistency in following up is the key. Encourage them to work with their thoughts and use positive affirmations.
  • Share Frustration Stories & the Learning
    Share with them times you have felt frustrated as a child and how you dealt with them. Be vocal when you feel frustrated at present. Share with them how you feel and how you are dealing with it. Read books or watch movies that show overcoming obstacles and have conversations around. Encourage them to assess and learn from something that didn’t work out for them and find out what went wrong. Share with them your failures or mistakes to acknowledge that it is OK to fail or make mistakes. Help them use the failures as learning or reflection junctures.
  • Assess the Skill & Ability
    Lastly, assess if your child has the ability to do the given task physically and psychologically. Do they need help with skill building or is it beyond their capabilities? Do you need to assist? Are they trying to do a task much beyond their ability which might leave them feeling low? Ensure that they have the support and help if needed.

SpringUP is a parent buddy program. We work with children on Social Emotional Learning(SEL) through experiential programs. We facilitate skills and vocabulary for children that enables parents to seamlessly follow up at home.

Copyright © 2021 SpringUP. All rights reserved.

Launch your GraphyLaunch your Graphy
100K+ creators trust Graphy to teach online
SpringUP Leadership 2024 Privacy policy Terms of use Contact us Refund policy