Building resilience in children
As parents, we know the way we treat our children matters. Obstacles and challenges will continuously arise in life. For instance, failing a test, losing a game, or even broken friendships.
Resilience isn’t something you’re born with – you can’t have a fixed amount of it either. Instead, think of resilience like a muscle you can train, develop and build. It’s important to raise resilient children because you’re helping them develop their inner strength that will help them overcome an obstacle – big or small.
Noticing and responding to your child’s feelings is the deepest, most personal way that you can say, “I love you.”
Here are 5 tips to raising resilient children:
1: You’re the role model
Your children look up to you, they watch how you handle situations – good or bad. Let your child into the learning process of how you handle stress/disappointment. Seeing it firsthand from their role model, will help them understand resilience and eventually incorporate it.
2. A glass half full
Optimism is a key characteristic in resilient people. If your child is easily disappointed or angered, try to show them a different perspective – a positive one. This doesn’t mean you discredit the way they feel, but rather give them a fresh take on the situation.
For example, if plans are cancelled and they’re upset about the situation, ask them what they can do about it. Help them focus on what they can do, and not what they can’t do.
3. Don’t rush to their rescue
As parents, it’s in our nature to help our kids and equip them with what they need to succeed. Teaching your children to be resilient also means learning to take a step back. If you believe your children can handle a certain setback, allow them to manage it and overcome it on their own. You can be there to listen and encourage, but ensure there are times for them to step up.
Learning to deal with these situations on their own as a child, will help them overcome greater challenges in their future adulthood. We know that “failure is not fatal”, as they learn from their mistakes, it helps them make better choices next time.
4. Listen to them
When your child is going through something difficult, it’s important to just listen. Don’t judge what they’re going through or what they’re feeling but rather step into their shoes. It’s okay to guide them allow them come up with their own solutions.
Give them the chance to open up and share their thoughts. By working together, your relationship will flourish and their resilience will strengthen.
5. Relying on God for strength & hope
When your children put God first and seek Him, they will understand where to place their hope. When everything in their world seems to go wrong, shaky and uncertain, they can firmly place their trust in Jesus. He is our constant in a world of uncertainty. He is the rock of our foundation. Teach your children to lean into the Word of God as their source of strength and God will continue to build them up.
After all, resilience isn’t about never falling down. It’s about getting back up again…and again…and again.
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