As parents we tend to idealise childhood as a carefree time, in an effort to protect our children from the harsh realities of life. However youth alone is not enough to protect against the emotional hurts and difficulties many children face. Children often are faced with dealing with problems ranging from adapting to a new classroom to bullying by classmates or not winning a race.
“As parents we want to build up our children and arm them with the necessary tools and attributes to be successful and happy. Teaching your children the art of resilience is one of those necessary life skills parents can teach” Says Peter Jordan, Principal Officer of Fedhealth.
Resilience : “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” According to the American Psychological Association resilience can be learnt. Helping your children build resilience will go along way in helping them manage stress, anxiety and uncertainty.
Here are 5 ways to help build resilience in children and teens:
- Make connections: making friends and learning empathy means you child can understand someone else’s dark day. Your children will learn not to dwell on their own issues.
- Routine: your child having a routine creates structure in your child’s life.
- Positive self view: when your children are faced with failure, remind them of the times that they were successful and what they learnt and achieved. Help them see the humour in the mistake, this also goes a long way to encouraging resilience.
- Tough times are opportunities: we all have difficult days. It is during these tough times that your children learn the most about themselves. Encourage them too talk to you, often times talking through a problem helps your child to find a solution.
- Goal setting: teaching your children to set goals and achieving these milestones go a long way to helping them focus on what they have accomplished, rather than what they have not accomplished.
Peter Jordan says “the truth about life is that nothing stays the same, and this concept can be quite daunting for a child, but helping them to see that change and failure are experiences to be embraced, as the positive lessons failures teach us, can take a childhood or even a lifetime to learn – which is why it’s important to start early”