How Resilience is Built in Children
Raising Resilient Children
Resilience is a key concept children need to learn. The good thing about resilience is that it is not automatic at a concept that one is simply born with. Resilience can be taught. Resilience is a person’s ability to cope with problems and change in a healthy manner.
Many parents and teachers want to protect their child which can lead to sheltered lives and a lack of problem-solving skills. Teaching reliance can be successfully accomplished, and your child will be better prepared for their future.
One of the best things you can do as a parent or teacher is to teach your child how to solve problems. Instead of avoiding potentially uncomfortable situations that your child may not want to experience, offer guidance to get your child thinking.
Many children often go through a phase where they do not want to leave to spend the night at camp or a friend’s house, especially if it is the first time.
Ask your child how they think they can overcome this, and then help them practice ways to work past the negative feelings they might have towards the situation. Role-playing can often help a child learn to work through problems by acting them out and coming to different conclusions they can then utilize.
Teaching Critical Thinking
Another thing you can do to help build resilience is to not offer an answer to everything or accommodate every single want or need. A child cannot live their entire lives in thorough and complete comfort – actually, no human can.
Obstacles, issues, and unexpected problems can arise, and your child will be better prepared to handle similar circumstances by having them think and act for themselves. A child that can understand and acknowledge a problem and then attempt to work through it helps build their confidence and resilience skills quickly.
Acknowledge that mistakes are ok. Everyone makes mistakes. Children need to realize that mistakes help make us better. We can learn valuable lessons from mistakes, and they are part of our journey.
Failure is a component of success. Everyone fails at some point, and your child does not need to dwell on the discouragement or the pain of failing. Sometimes children need to see the consequences of how they act before they fully understand that failure is only temporary.
Resilience can help children become better adults. They learn how to cope with difficulties, how to “bounce back” and learn from mistakes or hardship.
Show Children The Way
Resilience lessens anxiety and one of the best ways they learn resiliency is by watching their parents and teachers and how they cope with life happenings or people. Lead by example, because you never know who is watching 😊
Michelle Dell’Aquila, M.A.
Director of the CDA program
Michelle Dell’Aquila, M.A. is a licensed child therapist who is currently the director of CDA, a program geared for infants to 5-year-old providing developmental assessments, advice to parents at home and for teachers in schools.