While working in a school recently, the big thing was teaching kids how to build resilience in kids. Most of you would have noticed, even in your own family, how some kids bounce back easier than others. Their resilience is built in, it’s part of their temperament and nature, and they can get straight back up after a setback. Nothing seems to faze them.
Not all children are like this. They have to learn resilience. And resilience is something that can be nurtured, and developed, particularly if the parent is on board, and are resilient themselves. Children learn a lot from watching you, and when they feel loved and accepted.
Kids who are resilient are independent, great at problem solving and have an optimistic nature. They are also more successful in school and work. As a parent, you can coach your child through some of the challenging times, without solving the problem for them. How, then can you help your child be more resilient?
Be positive yourself. If you have a “can do” attitude, and encourage a “you can do it” model in your child, you are helping them build confidence and resilience they can tap into in their future life.
Show affection and pay attention – children thrive on hugs and kisses. And play with them – it’s a great way to connect, and you can actually learn a lot about your child through play.
Try to see things from your child’s point of view, even though you might not always agree with their choices.
Teach your child that challenges can be disguised as an opportunity for growth. Take the “problem” mentality out of it, and turn it into an opportunity for them.
As children get older, they may not want to go on family outings. They don’t have to go to all of them, but keep that connection, and make sure they go to some outings, or activities with the family. This will help them develop problem solving and independence skills that are necessary for resilience.
Last, but not least – help your child to identify and express their feelings in a healthy way. Teach them how to respond, rather than react. I always say “DEEP BREATHS” until the emotion settles, and then you can express yourself in a calmer manner. E-motion Cards are an excellent tool for this. www.e-motioncards.com.au
Teaching kids how to build resilience is not just a “one off” thing – it’s an ongoing process that requires you to be supportive and empathic when things don’t go your child’s way. If you have a good understanding of resilience, you have confidence in yourself, and your child’s ability to cope. If you feel you are lacking in resilience, maybe look at some self-help courses.