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8 seemingly bad things that are surprisingly good for your child
Your child is likely to experience something bad during their life. Here's how bad things can actually help them in life. - photo by Herb Scribner
Something bad is bound to happen to your child at some point or another.

But, according to Thomas Winterman of Psych Central, parents should let bad things happen to their children because it will help them learn to solve their own problems.

This isnt to say parents should let their children watch TV shows that arent kid-friendly or engage in bad behavior, though, Winterman explained.

Rather, Winterman suggests parents let their children fight their own battles not fist fights, but important life decisions and social struggles and then talk it over with their child afterward to help them understand what they just went through.

This will help children learn valuable life experiences.

When you engage your children in critical thinking, when they have to use their whole brain to look at an issue thats when learning happens, Winterman explained. Making connections between the right brain (big emotions) and the left brain (logic) is key for wellness. Ride the emotional waves with them and then talk about it afterward. Let your kids experience feelings, just dont let them experience them alone. Always be there, waiting and ready to jump in if things get too hairy.

Winterman also suggested parents monitor their childrens battles and difficulties so they can be there for them if times get too stressful.

But not all bad things are actually bad for your child, research shows. In fact, here are eight seemingly bad things that can happen to your child that can actually help them learn and grow as an individual.


Dont get too distraught if your child is a worry wart. A study published in October of this year in the journal Emotion found that worrying makes people less stressed because it allows them to be better at anticipating bad outcomes, according to The New York Times.

To find this, researchers looked at how people manage stress when waiting for results to something high-stakes, like tests results, The Times reported.

And when the news arrived, the worriers were more elated than their relaxed peers, if it was good; if bad, the worriers were better prepared, according to The Times.

Those who tried to deal with their failures without worrying beforehand were more stressed out than those who worried before getting their results, The Times reported.


Does your child sometimes switch moods out of nowhere? Do they go from happy to sad real quick?

Well, a new study from researchers in England and Princeton University found that those who show moodiness are more likely to adapt and learn, according to The Examiner. People who have moods during both good and bad life experiences will remember the mood when trying to learn from those specific events.

The mood learned from a single experience can color and influence subsequent actions and feelings, according to The Examiner. Positive moods that are reinforced by rewards promote further success. A negative mood developed as the result of a single bad experience can produce the self-fulfilling prophecy of repetitive poor performance and bad mood.


It may feel like common sense to tell your child not to play rough with their friends. But it actually may be good for brain development, according to our own Lois Collins.

Collins cited experts who said that physical and rough play can help children communicate in new ways.

"Roughhousing is more than good exercise. Psychological research shows that its essential to childhood development, columnist Virginia Postrel wrote for Bloomberg News, according to Collins. "Rowdy, physical play teaches kids to communicate verbally and nonverbally; to take turns; to negotiate rules; and to understand when they can use their full strength and when they need to hold back. It may sometimes look like fighting, but it isnt. Kids smile and laugh, return voluntarily to the game, take turns in dominant roles and wear distinctive 'play faces.

Some experts and parents are weary of this, though, since it encourages children to be physically rough with their friends, Collins reported.

But research has shown that good old-fashioned horseplay being physically playful opposed to aggressive can help children's social, emotional and physical development, Collins reported.


Its not uncommon to hear or see your children cry, especially if they get hurt during some of that horseplay. But crying isnt always a problem, and it can actually make your children feel better, according to a research paper from the Netherlands.

The researcher paper, which surveyed about 72 people, found that those who cry will often feel better than they did before they started crying, according to The Huffington Post.

The researchers had the studys participants watch a tearjerker film, called Hachi: A Dogs Tale, and then surveyed the participants about their experience. They discovered that participants who cried felt sad immediately upon crying, but often felt happier after they let their tears drop, The Huffington Post reported.

"After the initial deterioration of mood following crying, it takes some time for the mood not only to recover but also to be lifted above the levels at which it had been before the emotional event, the papers lead researcher, Asmir Gracanin of Tilburg University, said in a statement.


Experts say its OK to let your child fail.

For example, in her new book, The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed, author and educator Jessica Lahey said letting your child fail can actually make them more successful.

Lahey told our own Kelsey Dallas that America has created a culture where children fear failure, which limits them from learning from their mistakes and, eventually, finding success. Failing and dealing with difficult situations can help make children stronger in life, Lahey said.

The reality is that were going to have to deal with difficult people in our lives and difficult situations, she told Dallas. One of the most important things we can teach kids is how to advocate for themselves when they come up against those situations.

Parents can start promoting failure in subtle ways, like encouraging children to care more about learning their school material instead of just fighting for a good grade, Lahey told Dallas.

Start orienting kids to the point where they start to see that what you really care about is their learning and their effort, not the grade they come home with, Lahey told Dallas. Start small. Start with not interfering when the kid unloads the dishwasher. There are learning opportunities in even the smallest of household chores.


Weve all heard that sugar is toxic and can lead to weight gain. But it actually can help your childs brain in many ways, too.

The American Psychological Association found in 2000 that glucose, commonly found in sugar, can help people increase their learning and memory. Specifically, people receive these benefits when they receive glucose from potatoes, bread and other foods with carbohydrates, the APA reported.

To find this, researchers from Binghamton University and the University of Virginia gave elderly people and college students lemonade sweetened with either glucose or saccharin before taking tests based on memory and motor functions to see if it helped, according to the APA.

And it did.

The glucose showed strong effects: Elderly people who drank it recalled almost twice as much from a narrative prose passage as those who drank saccharin, according to the APA.

The researchers were quick to mention, though, that too much sugar can have negative health effects, and that people should monitor how much glucose theyre having based on their own metabolism.

Take a day off

Missing a day of school, work or chores may not seem like the greatest lesson to teach your children. But experts have said in recent years that using one day of the week to recover and refresh your brain can actually help you live a happier life, according to CNN.

Dr. Matthew Sleeth is one expert who agrees with that belief, which he wrote about in his book 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life. He said its important to use one day of the week as a stop day or, a day where you cease to work, CNN reported.

A stop day is a day you really cease from your labors, Sleeth told CNN. This really comes in Western cultures from the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment tells us to remember the Sabbath. The word Sabbath simply means to cease to cease from your labors.

Sleeth said the stop day is something he encourages in his own home, and its actually helped strengthen his relationships with his family and his spirituality.

So for our family, we took it very seriously, Sleeth told CNN. My kids really became the guardians of it when they lived at home, and they really wanted to see it happen. I think it actually helped us as a family. I have many people that I've talked to now that have said that keeping one day of rest a week has been the single best thing they've done for their marriage, their family and their spiritual relationship.


Parents have worried about Snapchat for years and have even gone as far as encouraging their children not to use it.

Snapchat, though, is the social media website that makes us the happiest, according to a paper published in the University of Michigan journal Information, Communication & Society. Snapchats often put users in a good mood, only ranking below face-to-face conversations in terms of creating happiness, The Daily Dot reported.

If the goal of digital communication is to closely simulate real-world interaction without the geographical limitations therein Snapchat is way ahead of the game, according to The Daily Dot. The messaging app, which allows users to send self-destructing messages, images and videos, has much more in common with actual human interaction than any of its competitors.

But as our own Chandra Johnson reported in October of last year, parents still err on the side of caution with Snapchat because of privacy concerns.

Still, moms and dads alike have found ways to use Snapchat to help build their relationships with their children in fun ways.