Promoting Resilience in Children
Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from challenges and obstacles in life. It is the ability to keep picking yourself up after failures and keep trying again and again. In fact, anyone who has achieved anything in their lives has developed resilience. If they had given up when they faced stumbling blocks on their way they would not have achieved what they did. We all need to develop resilience while working towards a goal.
Building resilience in children from childhood helps them navigate all difficulties and traumas that they surely would face in their lives at some point or the other. It will help them overcome obstacles easily and bounce back quickly which in turn reduces the chances of them suffering from anxiety and other stress-related issues. Children are not born with this skill, but rather it is a skill that they develop as they grow. So it is up to us as parents and teachers to give them the skills so they don’t give up easily or break.
Here are a few strategies to promote resilience in children:
Attachment with your child:
Very often resilience is dependent upon the child having a strong and healthy relationship. When children know they have unconditional support within their families, they are empowered to ask for help when needed and are more likely to make attempts to work through difficult times.
Teach problem solving skills:
It is every parent’s urge to solve their children’s problems for them so their children are not stressed. Instead brainstorm the solutions with them and together come up with ideas.
Allow them to make decisions:
Encourage them to take decisions on their own. Even if they make wrong decisions, this will give them an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and develop resilience.
Resilience and optimism go hand in hand. Help them see the positive side of any adverse events, this will change the way they respond to it. Acknowledge their negative thoughts if any and teach them to reframe their thoughts to look at the positive side that will keep them going in hard times too.
Set Reasonable Goals:
Help them set reasonable goals that will help them move forward one step at a time. Establishing goals will help them focus on specific tasks and move forward and build resilience in the face of challenges.
Children learn a lot by observing. So as a parent showing your resilience and perseverance yourself, will affect how much your child perseveres in a task too.
Children learn best in calm and comfortable environments. It is in these environments that children flourish and find way to battle through their difficulties.
Encourage healthy risk-taking:
Healthy risk-taking is when children go out of their comfort zone and try something new, which if they fail does not cause too much harm. Example: trying a new sport, taking part in a play or public speaking. When children avoid taking risks they internalize the message that they are not good enough to handle things. By taking risks they learn to push themselves.
Adults or children, it is not possible to avoid stress but being resilient is the best way to cope with it. It is thus important that children learn to be resilient right from their childhood. They are better able to face disappointments, adapt better to change and learn from failures.