Despite our best efforts as parents, we cannot protect our kids from all the challenges they may face. We can, however, help them build resilience.
Resilience helps our kids to navigate any obstacles they may encounter as they grow older. While it’s impossible to avoid stress and bumps in the roads, resilience is the ability to cope when things go wrong.
Resilience teaches our kids a number of things, such as how to bounce back after difficult times, how to deal with challenges, the courage to give things a try, how to become strong on the inside, and how to stand up for themselves.
When kids develop the skills and confidence to confront and work through their problems, they learn that they have what it takes to confront difficult issues and bounce back. As they build their resilience, they begin to internalise the message that they are strong and capable.
How can I help to build resilience in my children?
- Spend one-on-one time with your kids - without smartphones, television, or any other electrical devices. When children feel as though they have the unconditional support and focus of a parent or family member, they feel more empowered to seek guidance and attempt to work through difficult situations.
- Encourage your kids to go outside of their comfort zone. For example, try a new sport, strike up a conversation with a shy friend, or participate in school activities. When kids embrace healthy risks, they learn how to push themselves and rid themselves of negative internal messages that they aren’t strong enough to face new challenges.
- Fear of failure can lead to anxiety and a lack of resilience. Embracing mistakes helps promote a growth mindset and it’s important to give the message that mistakes can help you learn.
- Optimism and resilience go hand-in-hand. Help your children realise that every experience has a bright side and it’s important to remain optimistic. Try teaching your child to reframe any pessimistic thoughts with positive ones and be amazed at the difference.
- If our kids come to us with a problem, our natural instinct is to try and solve it for them. However, a better strategy is to ask questions. This bounces the problem back to our child with questions and gives them a chance to think through the issue and come up with solutions.
- Exercise has a number of benefits, and helping strengthen the build and making it more resilient to stress and adversity is just one of them. Spending time outdoors engaging in physical activity is a great way to build resilience in kids. If team sports don’t appeal to your child, encourage them to play tag, swing in the playground, skip, rollerblade, or cycling.
- Kids tend to model adults’ behaviour in many ways, so one of the best ways to teach resilience is to be a model for it. Use and demonstrate coping and calming strategies to work through any stress, such as deep breathing exercises, label your emotions and openly talk through the problem and how to solve it.
What are some of the ways you teach resilience in your kids? Let me know in the comments below!