Helping Your Child Build Resilience
Resilience is more than just coping. It lets you get back to feeling as good as you felt before the difficult time. Teach your kids to withstand difficult situations, teach them to bounce back when something negative happens. Teach them to be resilient. Here’s how.
A child needs personal skills and attitudes to help her overcome daily challenges like making mistakes, falling out with friends, losing matches or changing houses. Sometimes, a child could face more serious challenges like her parents’ separation or a death of a family member. Parents play an important role in honing their child’s personal skills for resilience.
Resilient children easily learn from difficult situations and come out stronger. They are better prepared to seek new experiences and opportunities and to take reasonable risks to achieve their goals. Risk-taking might cause some setbacks, but it also creates opportunities for success and greater self-confidence.
Strong positive relationships with parents lay the foundation for resilience in children. They gain strength from other caring adults like grandparents, aunts, uncles or teachers too. Peers can also be a source of support, if your child is going through a tough time.
Practising The Following Skills Can Help Your Child Bounce Back From Difficult Situations
1. Self-respect and other personal values and attitudes
If your child has self-respect, she’ll believe that she is important and should be treated respectfully by others. Strong self-respect will also help her be resilient to bullying. Empathy, respect, kindness, fairness and co-operation often stem from self-respect. If your child displays these attitudes, she will get a positive response in return, and that will help her feel good about herself as well.
2. Social skills
This is an important building block for resilience. This will allow your child to sort out conflict, to co-operate and work in a team and to make and keep friends.
Resilience is about being realistic, thinking rationally, looking on the bright side, finding the positives, expecting things to go well and moving forward, even when things are bad. Teach your child not to be hard on herself and teach her ways to work on helpful self-talk to make herself feel positive. Teach her ways to turn her low moods into better ones by doing things she loves and enjoys, by helping someone else, by exercising or reading or by watching something really funny.
4. Skills for getting things done
Goal setting, planning, organising oneself, being self-disciplined, being prepared to work hard and being resourceful are all a big part of resilience. Encourage your child to complete the tasks she sets for herself, no matter how hard she finds it.
Having a positive attitude can impact your child’s ability to bounce back. Make yourself a model of ‘you can do it’ whenever your child faces any difficulties. Teach her to bravely face these difficulties, and to grow and learn from them.
Promoting resilience is not a one-time task but is a process that requires you to be supportive and empathetic of your child whenever things don’t go her way. It is important that you have faith in yourself and in your child’s ability to cope. So let her have a go at sorting out her own problems and fighting her own battles, even if she fumbles and fails, before you step in.