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Learning to be resilient

 
Being resilient is an important life skill that can be taught from infancy and will help your child cope with change and uncertainty throughout their life. Parents cannot protect their children from facing disappointment forever, so children need to learn skills to cope as they face every day upsets and change. Find out why resilience is important, what influences resilience and practical ways to help develop your little one’s resilience.
Being resilient is an important life skill that can be taught from infancy and will help your child cope with change and uncertainty throughout their life.

Parents cannot protect their children from facing disappointment forever, so children need to learn skills to cope as they face every day upsets and change.

Find out why resilience is important, what influences resilience and practical ways to help develop and nurture your child's resilience.
 

Why is resilience important?


We have become a culture of trying to make sure our kids are comfortable and don’t need to face any unnecessary challenges. Many parents try to stay one step ahead of everything their kids are doing, but unfortunately this is not real life.
 
Everyone faces setbacks including children, so they need age appropriate tools to help them work through minor upsets and to cope with disappointment.
 
The impact disappointment has on children is influenced by how they choose to respond to it and their level of resilience.

As children steadily become more resilient they learn when and who to ask for help when they need it. They start to have a sense they can work out what they need to do and can handle what is thrown at them.

These skills will help serve them well in adulthood too as they face life's bigger challenges with confidence and well thought out strategies.
 

What influences resilience?


Resilience is a skill that can be taught from an early age. What we do as adults and the environment we provide our children, all influence how they will cope with a challenge.
 
Children need to work through challenges, like their best friend winning the game, to gain confidence to cope.
 
To build up resilience it is important to provide positive stressors that provide a challenge for children to reach the next level, like encouragement to jump off the next height step into the pool.
 
Children also need to know that their parents believe they can cope with these new challenges.
 

Practical ways to develop resilience

 
  • Parents are their children’s best model when it comes to learning about resiliency. If you cope calmly and logically with challenges, then your children are likely to do the same. If you didn’t handle a situation well, admit this to your child, adding how you could do it better next time.
 
  • Provide some level of appropriate risk so children can safely challenge their abilities and develop confidence.
 
  • Provide opportunities for your child to learn how to problem solve and handle challenges. Let them figure out what works and what doesn’t by themselves. For instance, if your child is afraid of the dark, turning on the light all night takes the challenge away from helping them work through their fear. Working out that a torch by their bed that they can use during the night helps them to stay in control of helping themselves.
 
  • Ask “how” questions rather than “why”. If your child throws their toy train when they are frustrated and it breaks, rather than ask why, ask how they could have responded differently or how they can help to fix the train. Your child now becomes part of the solution and not the problem.
 
  • As a parent, model coping with uncertainty. Show your child that you don’t have all the answers but together you can discover things that may work.
 
  • Mistakes are learning opportunities. Model to your child that adults don’t always make the right choices either. What matters is recognising what happened, making it better, or looking at alternative choices for next time.
 
  • As you help to build up your child’s resilience, help them to manage their emotions too. They need to know how to identify and respond appropriately to their emotions, like it is normal to feel angry but it is not okay to hit because of anger.
 

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Source: This article has been written by Creators, a nationwide service offering quality home-based care and education. Creators are passionate about seeing every child’s unique talent being recognized and nurtured.
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