31 Dec 10 Tips to Raise a Resilient Child
“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb but how well you bounce. “-Vivian Komori
Raising resilient kids is about building a generation of kids that can navigate through the stresses and strains of daily life and surpass it with flying colors.
According to Emma Saddleton, helpline manager at YoungMinds Charity, “The pressures young people face range from school stress, bullying to concerns around body image”
And while we cannot prevent our kids from getting hurt, disappointed, and rejected, we can pass on skills to help them cope with stress and adversity. And this is where Resilience Quotient comes in.
WHAT IS RESILIENCE QUOTIENT?
Resilience or Adversity Quotient was coined by Dr. Paul Stoltz in 1997 in his pioneering book Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities. According to him, adversity quotient measures the ability of a person to deal with setbacks and adversities in his or her life. It is how well they handle a difficult situation and find the best course of action to solve a problem.
A person’s response to resiliency is composed of four dimensions:
Control- Amount of influence we believe we have over a particular event to change the turn of events.
Ownership – Assuming responsibility for the situation and making the effort to change it
Reach – How the event affect aspects of our lives
Endurance – Influences the length of time we are willing to persevere through hardship.
Some kids seem to be born with the ability to overcome setbacks with ease and confidence while there are some who tend to give up more easily without realizing their full potential.
This can lead to them not being able to focus at school, lack sleep, make unhealthy choices, feelings of low self-esteem, and self worth.
SO HOW CAN WE HELP BUILD RESILIENCY IN KIDS?
Resiliency, like many skills, can be instilled in any child and it is one of the most important skill for every kid to learn.
It may not be possible to avoid stressful situations, but being resilient is one of the best ways to cope with it.
Here are simple tips to help kids bounce back on their own:
Build Strong Emotional Connection
Building connection is as essential to us parents, as it is to our kids. This creates a solid sense of security and emotional safety that leads to stronger values.
According to Don Catherall, the author behind Emotional Safety: Viewing Couples Through the Lens of Affect, people who are in an emotionally safe relationships are more likely to be happier compared to those in emotionally unsafe relationships.
Help your kids connect with friends and relatives as this provides social support and strengthens resilience.
Encourage your child to make friends and also develop a loving bond with your child.
It can be as simple as reading a book, eating meals together, or going out for short walks.
Be a Good Role Model
The real secret to positive parenting is understanding that your actions have a much bigger influence on your children than your words.
If you want to teach your kids to be resilient, let them know that you are strong and confident to face any challenges and back up your words with visible and concrete actions.
Teach your Child to Love a Sport
Taking part in any sports will allow your child to experience failure and defeat.
This will help develop their communication, teamwork, and problem solving skills that will benefit them on and off the field.
Promote Healthy Risk Taking
Encourage your kids to go outside of their comfort zones so they can try something new. Let them know that the courage they show in doing something difficult and new is more important than the outcome. When they take risks they start to open up to the world and realize their ability to shape and mold it and there’s magic in that for them and for us.
Boost their Self Esteem
Shift the focus from the things your kids cannot do to the things that they can to emphasize their strong characters.
Remind them that they can do big things and nurture that feeling in them.
Boosting your kid’s confidence and self esteem will give them the courage to try new things and accept their mistakes.
Teach Problem Solving Skills
It may be difficult for us parents, not to give in and rush to their rescue when things go wrong.
But instead of solving their problems for them, help your child in figuring out how they can handle challenges by going through opportunities to find out what works and what doesn’t.
According to Lynn Lyons, LICSW, co-author of the book Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children, “whenever we try to provide certainty and comfort, we are getting in the way of children being able to develop their own problem-solving and mastery.”
Embrace Mistakes and Learn From It
Everyone makes mistakes so it is important that we present failure as a natural part of learning process.
Help your kids learn to figure out the things that they need to do after a bad decision.
With every mistake made, kids get braver and find the strength to move forward on their own.
Shape their Growth Mindset
The concept of growth mindset has been around for a while.
It was developed by Professor Carol Dweck and their research has found that children who have a growth mindset – the belief that people have the potential to change – are more likely to show resilience when things get tough.
Help your kids develop a growth mindset. Having this kind of mindset means more than just accepting feedback and being open-minded.
It’s about making mistakes, learning from it, and coming up with strategies to improve and be better.
Make Gratitude a Habit
According to the Wall Street Journal, kids who show gratitude are happier and have better grades.
Encourage your kids to become more mindful of the good things in their life by focusing on the things that you are grateful for every day.
End each day as a family by sharing three things that you are grateful for and in time, it will be easier for your kids to appreciate the good things in life.
Build their Executive Functioning
Executive Function Skills guide everything that we do.
From making decisions to prioritizing a task, our EFQ plays a very important role.
Help kids strengthen their executive functioning skill as this will help them manage their own behavior and feelings, and will then increase their capacity to develop coping strategies
Keeping your kids in a bubble for too long isn’t healthy as they would miss the chance to develop coping mechanisms that are necessary in life. It’s important to let them face challenges and failures as this will help them change their perspective, improve their ability to rebound, and pick themselves up gracefully.