Children face problems every day, and it could be what we see or something that we don’t.
Children can be asked to deal with problems ranging from adapting to a new classroom, changes in the environment, peer pressure or even struggles in their home life. The ability to thrive despite these challenges is a skill called resilience.
Resilience can help your child manage stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Sadly, you won’t be able to stop every challenge for your child, they will face this challenge no matter what, but resilience will show and teach them that problems are a factor of life and you need to be able to overcome them to be happy and to move forward.
Resilience can be learnt, and the good news is as a parent/guardian or teacher we can be the ones that teach this at a young age. Resilience is a “work-in-progress” and something that we can continue to develop throughout our lives.
Building resilience in children and teens means that you must teach them to:
- Help your child by having them help others to create empathy
- Take a break and find activities that they enjoy doing to take their mind off the negatives.
- Teach your child self-care like cleaning their room and dressing appropriately etc.
- Set goals with them and move towards them
- Always have a positive mindset and not dwell in the negative
- Change is evitable – accept change and adapt to it the best way you can
- Teach them to problem-solve in a situation
- Don’t accommodate every need your child expresses. The “make it all better” approach doesn’t work for all situations. Look at the situation and see if it is a growth experience or a communication one.
- Show them and talk about that “Life isn’t always going to go the way we want”
- Let your child make mistakes and get them to talk about it with you
- Make them understand that most disappointments are temporary and can be endured.
If you need further reading about what you can do for different ages, an article from American Psychological Association explains it further. Click here
Resilience is a personal journey as well, there is no better way to teach your child resilience than for them to see how resilient you are in a situation. Remember the theory “Monkey see, Monkey do”; a child will watch your every move and watch how to overcome and endure.
How to get help?
If your child seems stuck or overwhelmed and unable to use these tips, you may want to consider talking to someone who can help
WAYS Youth & Family or alternative youth and family specialist services, G.P, reach out for support from your social network.
Visit the WAYS website to learn more about our community-based organisation, including our resources for parents and our programmes for children and teens.