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Building Resilience in Children

Building Resilience in Children

As parents and caregivers, we strive to love and protect our children from the adversities of the world. Seeing our child going through a tough situation can be heartbreaking. Most often a parents first instinct is to try and solve their children's problems. However, it is important for parents and caregivers to remember that those difficult experiences are often needed to help children build their own resilience.

Resilience is the ability a person has to bounce back after a negative situation. As parents and caregivers, we want to protect our children from the world, as they grow and have new life experiences they are going to face situations that are beyond our control.

Our job as parents should be to guide our children through the process so they can develop the skills to become resilient person. Becoming resilient will set the child up for success in many areas of their lives.

Resilient parents raise resilient children. 

Why is it important for a child to learn resilience?

Resilience is a skill that can be learned and built upon throughout a lifetime. Every challenging situation a person faces, is a step one takes to become stronger.

A child who is resilient is far more prepared for life. Resilience in children can be reflected in many areas of their life. Resilient children tend to do better in their academic life, social skills and emotion and behavior regulation.

It is important to guide and support your child through negative situations. According to the American Psychological Association, the lack of resilience in children can lead to poor outcomes later in life. Outcomes such as, delayed language skills, memory difficulties, reduced ability to concentrate, self-regulation of emotion and behavior, poor impulse control, weakened immune system, mental health problems, aggression, peer rejection and a few more.

Children who are resilient are found to have better problem-solving skills. They are also more independent, confident, often show higher self-steam, and much more able to cope when adverse situations arise.

Below are some ways parents can assist their children building resiliency:

Stick to a Routine

Children thrive with structure. Mealtime, bedtime, hygiene routine are only a few examples of how a parent can keep up with their child’s routine.

Children excel when they know what is expected from them. Also, a daily routine gives the child a sense of security and comfort, which decreases the sense of disorganization that can result in stress for the whole family.

Encourage Them to Problem Solve

Problem solving is an essential tool that can carry any person through any situation in life. A person who can solve a problem easily will succeed in most areas of their life.

One way to encourage a child to problem solve is to model and discuss problem solving. Discuss with your child how you solve your own problems. This will not only encourage them to think positively about their problems but will also open a line of communication between the two of you and strengthen your bond.

Another way to encourage your children to problem-solve is by letting them think for themselves. If your child has a problem or a question, respond with questions such as “what do you think you should do?” It is easy for a parent to quickly jump into action when their child has a problem. Allowing them to think about a solution before giving your opinion will encourage them to think for themselves and solve bigger problems later in life.

Allow Them to Fail

As parents, we often wish we could give the world to our children. We are committed to make their life perfect and do everything in our power to ensure they excel in life.

While it is important to have expectations for your child, not allowing them to make mistakes or face consequences will prevent them from learning how to deal with frustration. From toddlerhood all the way through high school, our children will make decisions that we do not agree. While it is important to ensure their safety, being overprotective and failure avoidant will hinder their competence and independence to deal with life on their own later in life.

Maintain a Close and Warm Relationship

Maintaining a nurturing connection with your child will ensure they feel safe and secure. Communicate with your child often, listen to what they have to say, talk about their feelings and emotions. Children are most likely to open up about their problems if they feel connected to you. Fostering a close warm environment, communicating often, lets them know that they can reach out to you whenever there is a need.