7 Tips For Building Your Child’s Resilience.
What Is Resilience?
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties; challenges, problems and crisis.
We as parents sometimes look at our children in awe of what they are capable of, from their first roll over to their ability to tie their own shoe laces.
As caring adults, we give our children the skills to overcome challenges with encouragement and praise – we build their resilience.
Children will get into many difficulties in their time, and resilience is about bouncing back after these difficulties with the confidence to try again.
Resilience is also about experiencing disappointment, frustration and grief and coming through it by learning from it.
Resilient children are generally emotionally stronger, braver and more capable.
1) Don’t Rush To Their Rescue.
Of course, if your child is in any danger, you will rush in to save them. What I mean by this is to assess the situation and gauge how difficult it will be for our child to recover.
If your child has fallen over, on the soft grass in thick trousers and it’s obvious that they can manage to pick themselves up, it’s not going to do them any favours by rushing in to pick them up.
So a breezy “Oh! Whoops-a-daisy! Up you get!” and you are building your child’s resilience.
Obviously, if your child is flailing like an upside down tortoise in a snowsuit (I mean your child in the snow suit – not the tortoise) then you will go to their aid, but help them get up with helpful encouragement before you pick them up.
2) Physical Activities
Physical activities feed your child’s brain. It is also a great opportunity to give your child a sense of “I can do this!”
Sometimes it’s scary for us to watch your child attempt their first go at walking along the wall without holding your hand, but children generally know their limits.
So this is obviously a chance for praise and encouragement!
“Go you!” “Oh! Wowsers trousers!” “You are SO good at this!” “I am SO proud of you!”
It’s sometimes an idea to bring in your child’s fan base at this time too… “Grandma will love to hear all about this, and how brave you’ve been!”
3) Problem Solving
Problem solving is a great way to build resilience in children.
From a wooden toy for Early Years children to a more challenging Rubic Cube for older children.
Again, if your child shows signs of frustration and is about to lose their poop, encourage them to give it another go, to try a different way but try to resist the urge (I know it’s strong!) to do it for them. And don’t forget the power of “Yet.”
“I can’t do this!”
“Maybe not yet, but you’ll get there with a little more practice.”
4) Model Resilience Yourself
Let your child see how you cope with struggles, disappointment and sorrow.
“Mummy didn’t get the client she wanted, but there will be a lot more people needing my services.”
“I know I’ve been at this for three hours my darling, but I will undo this knot because I’m an “I can girl!”
5) Be a Sounding Board
When your older children come to you with a problem, again, resist the urge to jump in straight away with your advice and suggestions. Let them talk. As they are talking they are reconciling, processing and strengthening their own thoughts and coming up with their own solutions.
Obviously, if it’s some well thought out scheme so that they never have to tidy their bedroom again, you may want to add your own thoughts.
6) Give Them Responsibility
Children are naturally inquisitive, (Yeah, that’s putting it nicely!) and they will break things or try things not because they are naughty, (A child is never labelled naughty right? It’s their behaviour that is labelled) but because they are curious and want to test things out and experiment.
So a highly effective way to approach this, rather than say “What did you do that for?” which invariably results in “I don’t know.” is “How are you going to fix this? Your brother is covered in paint, share with me how you’re going to figure this out.”
7) Label Emotions
Children who can tell you how they are feeling and what they need are more resilient than those who find it more of a struggle to express themselves.
Labelling emotions helps children make sense of the feelings that they are experiencing.
My Mood Stars are the perfect emotion toy to help your child identify not only their emotions but those of others. For further information and your free activity sheet download, full of ideas and games to play with My Mood Stars, look here
Whether it’s the slightest thing…shout “Wowsers trousers!” to your child today!
For tips on preparing you child for school – look here