Last week, I was very much tempted to write about the attacks that occurred in Paris, the horrendous tragedy, and how it has touched so many people I know. This blog was originally conceived as a way of escapism when I was faced with adversity and I had always wanted to keep it slightly surreal and fictionalised in the NHYM world. But we really are living in a time of high alert and we are all a bit more nervous than before that it would be impossible for me to ignore what is going on. So, to keep this post on a positive note and instead of just feeling helpless, it has led me to research and write about how we can teach our children resilience.
We all think that all we want is for our children to be ‘happy’ but this is too simplistic when reality will throw traumas, tragedies, and disappointments at us, some of which are out of our control. We, as parents, instinctively want to protect our children, but there comes a point when we can no longer protect them. What we can do, is to teach them resilience and how to bounce back from life’s challenges.
Here’s a round up of my Top 10 Tips on How To Raise Resilient Children:
(researched on the internet and parenting books)
- Don’t accommodate every need: If children are never exposed to uncomfortable situations, they will never learn from them and how to handle being in such situations. Minor uncomfortable situations will teach them flexibility and how to react positively.
- Avoid eliminating all risks: Allow appropriate risks for them to learn their own limits.
- Teach them to problem solve: You won’t always be there to solve their problems. Teach them how to go through the process of solving a problem to equip them with their own problem solving skills.
- Don’t provide all the answers: Don’t immediately rush to answer all the questions your child may have. Show them how to answer their own questions, promoting inquisitive minds and how they can answer their own questions.
- Let your kids make mistakes: Failure can be a good thing (but not too much!). It teaches them that failure is OK and that they can learn from their mistakes. See it as a growth and learning experience rather than as a negative experience. We all make mistakes, and it is important to children to know that it is Ok to make them.
- Help manage their emotions: Teach your children that emotions are OK, but that you have to figure out what to do next and how to manage them. For example, if they are upset at a friend, try to teach them to tolerate the emotions but that they will pass.
- Model Resiliency: Try to show them resiliency and be calm and consistent. We could probably all learn from this list.
- Determine your child’s strengths and develop them: Rather than focussing on their weaknesses, build on their strengths for them to build their confidence and know that they have their own unique talents and strengths.
- Build their coping skills: Everyone will face a situation when things aren’t going their way. Teach them to accept things that he/she cannot change, normalise their experience and let them know that they will get over it and get stronger from it. Positivity is also a helpful.
- Teach children to be independent but seek help when needed: There comes a point in each child’s life when they will no longer have their parent at their side every moment of the day to support, cheer, and help but that they can ask for help when they need it.
So, in these times of stress, what we can do is teach our young children to become resilient, leading them to become resilient and strong adults. Let me know if there are ways you have helped to build your children’s resilience.