Some children are resilient by nature – their temperament makes them mentally and psychologically tough. They deal with a setback or a disappointment very maturely. Rejection from the school playground or no friends to share lunch with, doesn’t affect them. Every child does not have such temperament for resilience.
Research shows that resilience can be nurtured and developed effectively when parents too are resilient because then they foster it in their kids as well.
Mrs. Sudha Gupta is one of India’s leading parenting expert. She believes in the concept of Positive Parenting. An exceptional educationist, her parenting articles, blogs and various seminars have been the most popular among parents.
According to her, resilience can be introduced through 4 basic skills: independence, optimism, problem-solving and social connection. Here are some of her popular tips on building resilience in children.
1. Have a positive attitude yourself
As a parent, your attitude has a lasting impact on your child’s ability to bounce back from the difficulties he faces. Make sure you display a ‘you can make it happen’ attitude for him whenever he faces difficult situation.
Look for teachable moments
Employ every learning opportunity to teach resilience. Every time your child faces a new situation or challenge, make the most of that moment so that children can grow and learn from these challenges.
Encourage children to actively participate in the family. Active participation develops the attitude of self-help, problem-solving and independence skills of kids. These are necessary for building resilience.
Build coping skills
Help children to cope with life’s problems through acceptance. Let them accept the situation and move ahead with a positive attitude. Promoting resilience in kids is a continuous process. It requires parents to be supportive and empathetic towards children. As a parent, you should have an understanding of resilience, so that you keep faith in your beliefs and your child’s ability to cope and deal with every situation.
Teach your children to socialise and make friends. Teach them to empathise and feel other's pain. Encourage them to be a friend first so that they can get friends. Build a strong and unshakeable family network which supports your child through his unavoidable disappointments. Connecting them with their peers provides social support and strengthens resilience.
6. Help your child by having him help others
Children who often feel helpless in a difficult situation, can be empowered by learning to help others. Engage your child in volunteer work that would suit his age or ask for help from him with tasks that he can master.
7. Maintain a daily routine
Sticking to a definite routine could prove comforting to children, especially younger children who seek structure in their lives. Encourage children to be proactive in developing their own routines.
8. Teach your child self-care
Make a good example of yourself in front of your children. Groom them to know the importance eating properly, exercising and taking enough rest. Make sure that your children have enough time to have fun. When children learn to take care of themselves they have fun and this helps them stay balanced and deal better with stress.
9. Move toward your goals
Tell your children to set reasonable goals and encourage them to move towards them one step at a time. Praise them for their achievement on their way to larger goals; it will help turn their focus on what he has accomplished rather than on what he hasn't accomplished.
Resilience can be taught. Building resilience means the ability to adapt well to adverse situations, tragedy, threats or stress. It can help children manage stress and suppress anxiety. As parents, we all can develop resilience and can thus help our children to develop it too.
Behaviours, thoughts and actions can be taught and learned over time. Follow these positive parenting tips from Mrs. Gupta and help your child in becoming a resilient individual who is independent, optimistic and socially connected.