Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents That Do These 10 Things

For centuries, maintaining physical health was one of the most highly prioritized treatments for our bodies. Alternatively, there’s been a lot of research that shows being mentally strong is just as important. However, most people have very little understanding of the tools and mechanisms to help ensure mental fortitude.

A Pyramid for the Mentally Strong

Abraham Maslow was a renowned psychologist and philosopher. Born in 1908, he developed the “hierarchy of needs. A pyramid that represents a visual aid for the things that motivate human behaviors. 3 of the 5 categories are closely related to the mental aspect of a happy and healthy life. The concepts cover basics for developing relationships, confidence, and security. According to a number of studies conducted over the years, it’s become clear to human development experts how those basics correlate to children becoming mentally strong adults. Simply put, when they have parents who support and meet the hierarchy needs.

Many people grew up with parents whose methods were tough love, thereby continuing an endless cycle of incidental damage. As a result, few have the ability to decipher their own complex emotions. Let alone give future generations the tools to do so. While certain psychology tools can be helpful for reference, many are pretty vague, to ensure they blanket a range of people. Luckily these vague concepts can be used to cultivate a healthy and happy environment, when they are broken down and explained more thoroughly.

Concepts Broken Down

1. Validate their feelings. Although it’s most people’s first reaction to shy away from those visibly feeling strong emotions allowing children to feel their feelings is the best thing for them. Giving children the freedom to observe, then grow to understand their own emotions will help them become mentally strong in adulthood. Sometimes children have tendency to lash out at or become violent toward others while expressing their emotions. In these cases, saying something like, ” It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling but it’s not okay to express that by throwing,” may be helpful to reinforce working through things, while still discouraging violent outbursts.

2. Discipline them. This has become a controversial debate in society, but kids need both encouragement and structure. While children should never be made to feel ashamed for making a mistake, highlighting their actions and talking about better ways to handle the situation in the future can have long-lasting effects. Furthermore, gentle and loving discipline teaches them self-awareness, empathy, and self-regulation.

3. Nurture Self-Esteem and Encourage “Healthy Self Talk“. Children need to believe in themselves to become mentally strong adults. Reflecting with them a few minutes a day about what they love about themselves, what you admire about them, and the skills they want to be better at will greatly boost their self-esteem. Moreover, helping them to practice and improve on the said skills will give them a deep sense of accomplishment.

4. Teach Them About Personal Responsibility. Learning to understand what may have caused a mistake will help prevent it in the future. However, that can’t be done if children don’t have the opportunity to recognize their errors, which requires a sense of personal responsibility.

Help Them Become Mentally Strong

5. Reframing Negatives into Positives. Touching on the aforementioned, “Healthy Self Talk”, teaching kids to replace negativity with uplifting thoughts can look like a few things but will ultimately build a foundation for mentally strong adults. One example may be to encourage them to learn from others. Another may be giving them a reminder of their own strengths. It’s easy to feel jealous or in competition, but we all have our own strengths and weaknesses that help us uniquely contribute to society.

6. Allow Them to Feel Uncomfortable. While this won’t sit well with many parents, it’s necessary for personal growth. Allowing children to feel sad or disappointment, suggesting compromise, will teach them to be well-adjusted, because after all, “you can’t always get what you want.” Additionally, allowing them to problem solve on their own, will teach confidence and self-sufficiency.

7. Teach Them Gratitude. When children have time to reflect on the good in their lives, they have an opportunity to boost their moods, and pull through those hard moments.

8. Frequent and Open Communication. Speaking with children, or allowing them to speak open and freely, will help create mentally strong adults. They will learn to feel safe confiding in you and feel like they’re being heard.

Continued Tips for the Mentally Strong

9. Encourage Character Development. In order for adults to be mentally strong, they have to have a strong moral compass. Teaching them to be honest and kind, can give children a sense of how good it feels to be a contributing part of what makes the world beautiful.

10. Remember They’re Still Learning. It can be incredibly frustrating to tell your child not to do something, that they look you straight in the face and do it anyway. However, children only have a small portion of the same information we have and learn through repetition. Therefore, they may make the same mistake a few times before finally understanding the error.

Carry On in Serenity

Most importantly, be patient with your child and yourself. Encouraging children to become mentally strong adults takes time and comes with several lessons along the way. Take a deep breath, encourage your child to do so, and work together to come up with healthy habits and coping mechanisms.


  1. Want to raise mentally strong kids? science says stop telling them ‘everything will be ok’-here are 5 things to do instead.” CNBC. Amy Morin. March 5, 2019.
  2. How to raise mentally strong kids. Verywell Family. Amy Morin. October 12, 2021.