Making your child resilient enables them to recover quickly from setbacks and difficulties and be well adjusted, adaptable brave and proud of whom they are. You can build your child’s resilience by several ways: that most important is for you to let your child know that you love him or her unconditionally.
Pic: Oksana Kuzmina – Shutterstck Inc.
Making your child resilient – listen to what your child says
Listen to what your child is telling you. Give your child your full, undivided attention. Let your child know that you value what they have to say. Do not use ‘why’. Use ‘how’ instead. This helps a child to start to find their own solutions and elaborate in their telling.
Encourage friendships. A resilient child has a sense of belonging. A resilient child knows that they can count on support from friends and family. Enlist grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, neighbours and teachers for social support.
Encourage your child to ask for and accept help when needed.
Have routines and rules. Let the child know if they do not follow these rules there are consequences. Keep it consistent.
Encourage your child to try hard things, make decisions, and not to give up too easily. Let your child know that you are confident that they can achieve what they are set out to do. Trust that your child is able to make personal decisions. It is important to the child to realise that they can master and achieve things just by their own action.
Let your child fail and make mistakes. Do not rush to rescue immediately. This builds their ability to bounce back and stand on their own feet and, learning from their mistakes, to try again.
Help your child solve problems by questioning different solutions. If things are not possible to change, teach the child to focus on things that can be to make the situation better.
Making your child resilient – be specific
Give praise generously, recognising when the child has done well. Be specific about achievements.
Help and encourage your child to face the fear. Do this gradually, until the fear is mastered.
Bad things happen, but so too does good. Encourage hope and to focus on the positive side. Encourage your child to help others. Point out how in hard situations other people can help. Instil hope that people and things will change.
Teach your child to self-care when in distress. This includes taking time out, to seek help, and (together with your child), devise ways to calm down. Examples could be breathing, meditation, reading, drawing and physical activity outside.
Teach the child to identify their emotions. Point out that there might be two conflicting emotions at the same time and that is OK. Let the child know that ALL the emotions are OK: even the not so pleasant ones, such as anger, frustration and worry. Encourage your child freely to talk, draw and play to express his or her emotions.
Encourage your child to play and to be creative. This is a safe way to learn, problem solve, make mistakes and try again. Children are meant to do unstructured play and be creative. This builds and strengthens their brain capacity.
Making your child resilient – be a good model yourself
Be a good model of resilience to your child. ‘Children see, children do.’ Children learn by observing how you solve the problems and how you behave.
My specialised therapy builds strategies that provide resilience, confidence and self- esteem. In addition, it teaches coping skills such as assertiveness and boundary setting.
If seeking help or advise ring Maarit Rivers now at 0417 462 115 or email me .
© Maarit Rivers, Child Therapist – Church Point, NSW 2105
0417 462 115, [email protected]