In working with children, we have noticed that they can be extremely resilient when facing difficulties. Meaning they are able to overcome adversity. The ability to be resilient during childhood increases the chances that they will have a healthier life during adulthood. However, when we as parents, teachers, guardians, and counselors do not build upon this resiliency it can be lost. If you are a parent or someone who works with children it is important that you try to instill resilience in children. Depending on life circumstances a child can be asked to deal with very difficult situations. Children are asked to deal with a variety of things like changing schools, or bullying, or even abuse violence in the home. In addition to these challenges, just growing up can be difficult. Thus, the ability or capacity that a child has to overcome these different challenges is his or her level of resiliency.
We Can Learn to be Resilient
Everyone can learn to be resilient. Learning to be resilient is a combination of teaching actions, behaviors, and thoughts. Here are some cited tips that can assist with resilience.
- Create relationships or make connections
Part of resiliency is learning to understand and empathize with others. In order for your child to build healthy relationships, these must be modeled to him or her in the home. Thus, it is important to teach your child how to cope with disappointments and support them through them. On the contrary, if we do not do this and we actually get upset during disappointments this teaches children to react negatively to them as well.
- Teach your child self-care
As adults, we can all be guilty of neglecting our self and work too much or neglect our own self care. We have probably heard that we have to take care of selves with good sleep, healthy eating, and fun. The same goes for children, from a young age it is important for them to learn to balance of work and having fun. They should have time to play and study. They should also be taught to get plenty of sleep and eat healthy so that those habits carry into adulthood.
- Make Realistic Goals
It is important for all of us to make goals and work towards them. We have also probably realized that good things are worth the wait and we should be patient. With that being said, we should take small steps towards reaching our goal. Children should learn that as well. For example, if your child has a big school project teach them to break it down into smaller parts that are more attainable.
- Embrace Positivity
Help your child remember that if he or she tackled challenges in the past they are able to do it again. This will help children trust themselves in their problem solving abilities. Also, allowing them to learn that everyone makes mistakes and not to take themselves too seriously.
Being spiritual does not always have to do with religion. Spirituality allows us to understand our sense of purpose. It will also allow children to connect with what holds meaning for them. One common suggestion is to teach them to be grateful. So for example, you can create a ritual with your child to tell you what they are grateful for everyday.
Accept the Stress
A lot of us deal with stress on a daily basis, sometimes even hourly. However, a lot of how stress impacts us has to do with how we cope with it. It is important for children to learn to cope with stress in a healthy way. For example, if your child has the tendency of getting angry and having a tantrum when something does not go his or her way it may help to explain to them that getting angry will not make the situation go away. In situations like these it is helpful to teach children to take deep breaths and think happy things. Also, it is important to not make your child feel worse when they are already upset about a situation.
Remember Why Resilience is Important
Keeping an eye out for resiliency in children is not a temporary thing, it is something we watch out for on an ongoing basis. Remember, children face different things as they get older. What seemed difficult to them at age 5 is going to differ from what they are going through at age 15. Resiliency is important because people who are resilient:
- Live longer lives
- Happier in relationships
- Less likely to develop depression
The importance of Support
The process of building resilience has a lot to do with support. The support comes from outside support and inside strength. Both will be explained below
Outside Support has to do with:
- Caring and healthy relationships
- Positive role models in surrounding systems i.e families, community centers
- Community resources such as community centres, parent-child drop-in centers, faith groups, or support programs for children with special needs
- Mental health and or psychological services
Inner strengths include:
- thinking skills
- positive outlook
- responsibility and participation
Our inner strengths and outside support work together to help us build resiliency!
Resiliency is something that we all can build which is great. As parents and educators we have to be resilient in our own lives in order for children to develop it. We are all born with the capacity to be resilient but we have to practice it so that it becomes an automatic took. As a parent you might need guidance and support so you can look up where to find a psychological evaluation near me or mental health services. Sometimes working with a neutral party can help. For more information on mental health services in South Florida visit https://rkcaregroup.com/!