What is resilience? Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” after a setback, to cope or recover. You’ll often hear that kids are resilient, that they are better equipped than adults to bounce back after difficulties. But, did you know that resilience is a skill that can be learned? Helping kids and teens become resilient at a young age can help them face everyday challenges as they grow.
Here are some simple wasy you can help children develop resilience, from www.childwelfare.gov
- Model a positive outlook. Children pick up behaviors that they see modeled. By facing small challenges with a positive attitude, children will learn from your ability to bounce back from difficulties. It may help to remind children that setbacks are temporary, and that it will get better.
- Build confidence. Point out when a child demonstrates qualities such as kindness, persistence, and integrity, all vital to developing a resilient child.
- Help your child build connections. Starting with a strong, loving family, encourage your child to build good friendships. Having strong relationships and a solid support system will help a child, teen, or adult cope with trauma or loss.
- Encourage goal setting. Teach children to set a realistic goal and work toward them one step at a time. Even small steps can build confidence and resilience.
- See challenges as learning opportunities. Tough times are often when we learn the most. Resist the urge to solve a child’s problem for them — this can send a message that you don’t believe that he can handle it. Instead, offer love and support, and show faith in his ability to cope.
- Teach self-care. Many challenges are easier to face when we eat well and get enough exercise and rest. Self-care can also mean taking a break from worrying to relax or have some fun.
- Help others. Empower your child by giving her opportunities to help out at home or do age-appropriate volunteer work for her school, neighborhood, or place of worship.
For more information on building resilience, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Building-Resilience/Pages/default.aspx