Remote learning, social distancing, masking, virtual playdates – kids have faced a lot of changes over the past two years. And as parents, we know they’ll encounter more as they grow. Giving your kids the tools to develop resilience can help them successfully navigate whatever life brings.
Resilience, by definition, is the ability to bounce back from challenges and changes. Here are a few practical ways to instill it in your child.
1. Point out their strengths. When you notice something positive about your child, say it out loud. Commend them for persevering with a difficult math concept or being fair with their sibling. Knowing their strengths gives kids the confidence to solve problems on their own.
2. Model coping skills. Teach your kids healthy ways to handle stressful situations. Practice deep breathing, counting or even squeezing a stress ball. And model optimism by pointing out the positives in every situation.
3. Let them choose. Kids feel more empowered and in control when they’re given choices. Offer age-appropriate options, such as letting older kids decide how to celebrate their birthdays and having young children choose books to read.
4. Instill independence. Kids who do more on their own build self-esteem they’ll carry throughout their lives. Teach young kids to dress themselves by pulling up the bottoms while you do the tops. Encourage older kids to make their own lunches and help you fold laundry.
5. Allow them to fail. From low test grades to lost ballgames, every child experiences disappointing moments. Resist the urge to rush in and fix things. Encourage your child to talk about the situation and what they learned from it.
While we can’t shield our kids from adversity, we can give them the gift of resilience. And resilient kids are more likely to become adults who adjust to life’s highs and lows with optimism and confidence.
Mercy offers a free Parent’s Survival Guide that’s packed with tips for parenting success at every stage of childhood. Download it below.