6 ways to build resilience in children to fight bigger battles in life
By Emily Hagan | Published on Oct 19, 2023
It’s no secret that the journey from adolescence to adulthood can be tough. As young minds navigate academic pressures, peer relationships, career aspirations, and the ever-changing digital landscape, it’s important to equip them with the tools they need to build resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, adapt to change, and thrive in challenging circumstances. By building resilience in children, we can help them face life’s ups and downs with confidence and strength.
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Resilience is not about avoiding difficulties; it’s about developing the capacity to effectively cope with and learn from them. It’s a skill that can be cultivated and strengthened over time. When children possess resilience, they are more likely to bounce back from emotional setbacks and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance use, conflicts, or school dropout.
1. Strengthen Parent-Child Bonding
A strong parent-child bond is crucial in building resilience. Actively listen to your children and engage in non-judgmental conversations, validating their emotions and experiences. Let them know that you are their reliable support system and encourage open communication. By fostering a sense of belonging and security, children feel more comfortable reaching out for help when needed. Set boundaries on device usage and encourage offline activities to promote real-world connections, which are essential for building resilience.
2. Foster Healthy Coping Skills
Teaching children to prioritize their physical, emotional, and mental well-being is essential. Encourage regular exercise, a balanced diet, and enough sleep. Introduce mindfulness practices, deep breathing exercises, journaling, and creative outlets like art or music as healthy ways to process emotions and promote self-care. By strengthening their overall well-being, children can build resilience. Teach them to identify their feelings and express them constructively, preventing emotional suppression and promoting emotional intelligence.
3. Embrace Failure as an Opportunity to Learn and Grow
Failure is a natural part of the learning process. Teach children to embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a reflection of their self-worth. When setbacks are seen as stepping stones to success, children are more likely to persevere and remain optimistic in the face of adversity. By normalizing the conversation around failures, we can promote resilience in children.
4. Encourage Realistic Goal Setting
Guide children in setting both short-term and long-term goals that align with their strengths and interests. Accomplishing these goals boosts their confidence and resilience. Unrealistic expectations can lead to feelings of inadequacy and stress. It’s important to set goals that are attainable and realistic. By helping children set realistic goals, we foster their resilience and well-being.
5. Create a Supportive School Environment
Schools play a significant role in youth development. A supportive school environment is essential for building resilience. Promote emotional intelligence and mental health awareness through programs and initiatives. Celebrate failures as learning opportunities and enforce anti-bullying measures. Educators should be trained to recognize signs of struggle and provide the necessary resources to support students.
6. Seek Professional Help when Necessary
Building resilience is important, but there are situations that require professional intervention. If a young individual is experiencing persistent feelings of depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges, seeking help from a qualified mental health professional is essential. Recognizing when professional help is needed is a crucial part of building resilience.
Building resilience in children is a collective effort that involves parents, educators, and society as a whole. By investing in their resilience, we equip children with the ability to lead fulfilling lives with strong mental and emotional well-being. Let’s empower our children to face life’s challenges head-on and build a foundation of resilience that will carry them through their journey into adulthood.