Self Development

Tips for Building Resilience in Children


As parents are getting used to an atypical school year, the way their children learn and connect is very different. The kids now need the power of resilience more than ever before, to bounce back from tough times and prosper in this new normal.

There is good news though! There are few skills that can be practiced as a family together, which will help children become far more resilient, even in the face of hardships. Developing resilience is an important characteristic for kids, as it enhances their social, emotional, and academic success. It also helps them bounce back from any challenging circumstances.

By modelling these three key skills: optimism, creativity, and empathy; parents can build resilience in children and strengthen it within themselves.

Optimism

Optimism is not just a mindset, but it is a skill that is fuelled by grit and determination. With a little bit of display from the adults, and with practice, kids can easily learn to approach life through the lens of hope.

Role of Parents:

The parents need not talk of the doomsday with the kids, as it can affect their morale. Rather, as adults, they need to set an optimistic example for the kids. Even though if life is challenging, they need to instil positive thinking and language amongst kids. A daily practice of gratitude can be infused within the family environment, to help everyone focus on finding the silver linings in any circumstance.

Role of Children:

The children on the other hand can practice positive language that keeps their chins up whenever they face setbacks. They can use positive terminology and statements to get rid of the negative thoughts. Whenever a child says, “Nobody likes me”, the first thing the parent should do is to empathize and listen to them. And then, make them understand that this is just a thought or a feeling, and is not a fact.

Creativity

Creativity is not just an attribute that people are born with, rather it is a skill that can be cultivated with some practice. The children need to be taught that there are no limits to their imagination, and they should believe that their original ideas are worthy enough to the world.

Role of Parents:

Parents should model the power of wondering within the family. By asking “I wonder…” questions to children, it will help them think creatively together and get some new ideas and solutions. Parents can get creative with some code words or signals to communicate with kids when one of them is busy on a work call or in an online school classroom.

Role of Children:

Children can come up with ideas on how to structure their school day, their own way. In the current scenario, maybe they can rearrange their schedules or routine, plan some fun brain breaks, or add in moments of their choice. They can even practice new things like preparing their own lunch or may be rearranging their room. Important thing is to step out of their comfort zones on a frequent basis. It will help them learn new ways of doing things, discover skills that they never knew they had, and most importantly, it will build confidence in their ideas and abilities.

Empathy

Scientifically, it is not easy to practice a skill like empathy, if you have never felt it for yourself. Hence, model the skill of empathy for the children. When empathy is expressed towards the child, it eventually lends them the language to practice looking at the world through someone else’s lens.

Role of Parents:

Parents can showcase empathy by expressing concern for the feelings and experiences of others. They can process aloud to kids what it must feel like to walk in someone else’s shoes. The parents can connect with children before correcting or criticizing their behaviour. Just by taking time to acknowledge children’s feelings, listening to their point of view, and giving them a hug and soft place to land, parents can show children that mistakes can be rectified. Even when things are tough, it can be lead with love and respect to one another.

Role of Children:

Children can practice identifying and tagging their own emotions, and the emotions of others. This type of emotional ease helps children to connect their feelings with others. This is an essential part of developing empathy in kids with which children can resolve disagreements with siblings or parents. The child needs to be asked to listen to other person’s perspective and repeat it before sharing their own perspective. Exercising their listening powers in such situations help the children appreciate how others see things differently than they do. It is a nice way to showcase how they make others feel, regardless of their own intentions.

When these three key skills are added to a child’s toolkit, it becomes a lifelong investment in helping them navigate change and uncertainty in any environment!