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How to Help Children Become Resilient

It has oft been said that ‘that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ However, not everyone has the ability to manage and overcome extreme stress or trauma.

There are people who seem gifted with resilience, so nothing and no one ever fazes them no matter how insurmountable the obstacles may seem. There are also those who brood or become anxious and depressed even over everyday stressors most people encounter.

Although there are sure to be other reasons why such differences exist, there’s no doubt that resilience is a trait that helps people carry on day to day, no matter the odds. It’s a good thing, then, that parents have the opportunity to help their children develop this critical ability.

Resilience – the Basics

Resilience is a trait or ability that enables people, including children, to cope or manage their problems, frustration, trauma and other types of stressors.

Children who are resilient have an easier time recovering from disappointments or frustrations. They are able to cope healthily with the challenges they encounter.

Resilience is actually an important aspect of mental health in children as it protects them even from highly traumatic childhood events. These include losing a pet or loved one, failing in a school project, not being able to qualify for a school team, being bullied, living away from one or both parents, etc.

Where Resilience Comes From

Resilience is a trait that’s developed from within. However, it is also influenced by certain external factors, such as family relationships, life experiences and the school environment.

As a parent, you have a unique role and opportunity to help your child develop this critical life skill. And, the earlier you start, the better it will be for your child.

Building Resilience in Children

But how do you help your children develop resilience? What can you do to mould them into young people who are ready and able to face whatever life throws their way?

Here are a few tips you can try:

  • *  Help your children develop empathy. Teach them how to visualise and understand the difficulties other people experience on a daily basis.

  • *  Ensure your children have strong bonds with a supportive adult they can confide in.

  • *  Listen to your children when they speak. Make sure they feel understood and that you are taking their input or whatever they have to say seriously.

  • *  Appreciate your children for themselves. Don’t force them to be where they don’t want to be or someone they have no wish to become.

  • *  Help your kids identify their strengths and give them encouragement and support.

  • *  Let your children know that mistakes are part of life and use those as learning opportunities, so they can try again and do better.

  • *  Inculcate a sense of responsibility in your children. Teach them the importance of taking ownership of their choices. This will not only help them develop self-confidence but also help them understand the importance of making the right decisions.

  • *  Tell your children you love them and encourage them to express themselves constructively or creatively.

  • *  Teach them problem-solving skills, such as reframing problems, identifying crucial details and looking at the big picture.

There’s no better time than now to teach your kids about the importance of resilience and help them develop this crucial life skill that’ll help them throughout their lives.

Business Daily Media