Building resilience

Every parent’s goal is to help their child build resilience. Children become happy, healthy adults who have the tools to excel at work and home and be prepared to face inevitable challenges with resiliency.

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back and rise above setbacks or hardships. Resilient people see challenges as opportunities. Teaching children how to be resilient is critical, because it can be learned and improved throughout life, especially with support from a loving, caring adult.

Tips for raising resilient kids

  • Allow children to make mistakes and help them navigate through the solution. Avoid swooping in and fixing the problem. Children will develop a sense of accomplishment when they succeed.
  • “Failure” can form tenacity. Praise the effort instead of the end results to help children learn the ability to “stick with it” and get over not getting the blue ribbon. Allow children to work through adversity with your support to build confidence in their ability to handle challenges.
  • Create connections to others or a support system your children can lean on during difficult times. Child or adult, we all need someone to tell us it’s “OK” when times get hard. Actively listening by making eye contact, getting rid of distractions such as phones or computers, and simply being approachable and available creates long-lasting bonds. Family dinners, traditions and having fun together strengthen family ties. Relationships outside of the family, such as at church and school, offer other avenues to feel connected.
  • Help children learn to cope through discussions, active relaxation or exercise. As parents, we are important role models. Instead of coming home from a hard day angry and complaining, try saying “I had a horrible day. Can you give me a hug that will make me feel better?” or “I am really stressed at work. I think I will go for a walk to calm down.”
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