Coping With Setbacks: 7 Reminders to Help Students Stay Positive

Helping Students Conquer Obstacles

Sometimes life throws unexpected curveballs and setbacks—from minor obstacles like receiving a low grade on a test or getting in a fight with a close friend, to much more significant ones like serious illness or loss. These obstacles are difficult for everyone, but they can be especially tough for students who are just learning how to balance their personal lives with schoolwork.

Coming up with the right words to say when your child is upset and lost might stump you. Consider the following motivating reminders to help students cope when everything seems to be going wrong.

  1. Sometimes, experiencing pain comes with a valuable life lesson.
    It will most likely be hard for your child to understand pain in the moment, just as it is for anyone. You can provide reassurance by explaining that although pain brings sorrow, it also often comes with a meaningful purpose. For instance, maybe he or she had a special pet that passed away. This misfortune could inspire a greater appreciation for life.
  1. The bad times won't last forever.
    If your child is going through a tough time, remind him or her that it won't last forever. There will always be a chance to start fresh the next day! Making the best of the situation is a much better option than dwelling and growing increasingly miserable.
"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn
around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or
work around it.” – Michael Jordan
  1. Stop worrying, be open to change.
    Worrying and complaining simply wastes energy and time. Ask, "Have you solved anything by complaining?" Encourage your child to change whatever it is he or she doesn't like by taking action and doing something about it instead. Consider having him or her swap the complaints with gratitude for all the things that are going well.
  1. Failure can lead to greatness.
    Despite hard work and effort, not every life goal can be accomplished. Let your student know that these are not mishaps but, rather, opportunities for something even greater. For instance, perhaps your student didn't get accepted into his or her first-choice college, or didn't get hired for a dream job. The rejection could open the path to a school or job that is more suitable and fulfilling.
  1. Stay positive, and ignore negativity.
    Unfortunately, your child is going to come across negative people in life. Emphasize the importance of tuning the negativity out and remaining optimistic, as negativity causes unnecessary despair. Encourage him or her to seek out positive friends and role models.
  1. When you can't change it, let it go.
    It's easy to get caught up in things that really can't be controlled. Instead of holding on to unhappy thoughts, suggest letting go, relaxing, and letting life happen. Convince your child to take chances and trust his or her instinct, even if the outcome is unpredictable.
  1. Just keep swimming.
    Life is going to continue no matter what hardships come along, so why not inspire your student to muster the courage to continue with it? Pose the question, "Wouldn’t life be boring if it was really easy and you didn’t have to work for anything?" Comfort your child by clarifying that these tribulations often make people better and stronger.
"Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life.
Keep the faith. It will be worth it in the end."

With a little wisdom and encouragement, students can conquer various obstacles!

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