There’s no doubt that everyone has to deal with their own set of challenges over the course of life, and children are no exception to this. Children and teens deal with a unique set of trials and tribulations, including changing schools, dealing with puberty, making (or losing) friends, taking exams, and much more.
Perhaps one of the most important qualities you can engrain in your child is that of resilience, or being able to bounce back from whatever challenges they face. It’s a difficult trait to embody as a child, but as parents, it is our duty to prepare our children for what lies ahead.
Children are bound to face challenges – it’s inevitable. Raising your child to be resilient will help them learn from their mistakes and grow into a confident and well-rounded adult.
Parents have a difficult time watching their children encounter tough situations, and it’s even harder for them to take a step back and let them deal with these mishaps on their own. While there are some situations that parents should be on top of, there are others that parents should allow their children to face on their own.
Here are five tips for raising a resilient child –
If your child is going to a sleepover, camping trip, or spending some sort of night out, don’t do their packing. It’s important for children to learn what essentials they may need and take the initiative to pack those things on their own. If they ever forget something, chances are they won’t make the same mistake twice.
One of the best ways to teach your child responsibility is through chores. Common chores include cleaning their room, making their bed, or helping set the dinner table. When your child understands that they are responsible for certain tasks, they will learn accountability – another important trait when it comes to being resilient.
It’s hard to teach children to be resilient if you are modeling behavior that makes mistakes seem like the end all, be all. It’s important to eliminate catastrophic terms, as this encourages anxious behavior. Instead of saying “I had a bad day and I don’t feel like going to work tomorrow”, try saying, “I didn’t have the best day, but tomorrow will be better.” Your child will pick up on your positive attitude and will be better able to bounce back from a bad day.
We live in a society that places value on test scores, making it hard for our children to accept a bad grade or bad result in general. What is important, however, is teaching children that it is not the end result that matters, but instead, the effort that they put forward. Failure is inevitable, and it’s important that your child maintains a good level of confidence even when they do not succeed.
Children are always modeling their parents, so one of the best ways to teach resilience is to actually be resilient yourself. Just as some children are more resilient than others, some adults are more resilient than others. If you face a challenge, try reappraising the situation by putting a positive spin on it. Turn mistakes into learning experiences, and let your child know that you are doing so.
Resiliency is an important characteristic to embody, as it prepares you for the challenges that you will inevitably face. If you feel that your child or teen is having an especially difficult time coping with stressors or finding their inner resiliency, please know that I am a resource for you. Additionally, if you yourself feel that you are having a tough time being resilient, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am located in Hermosa Beach and provide therapy to teens, young adults, adults, families and more. You can reach me via email or by phone at (310) 892-2572.