Raising a Resilient Child
By Barbara Smith, Executive Director Utah Family Partnership Network
Resiliency is the ability to face new situations with confidence and bounce back from negative experiences. These qualities can help children resist many of the negative messages they are being bombarded with-hopefully keeping them away from drugs, alcohol and thoughts of suicide. Here’s a few tips on ways to help children be more resilient.
Help them learn to problem solve. If they are facing a new situation such as starting in a new school, ask them how they could make it work. Let them think of solutions.
Let them take age-appropriate risks, like learning to ride a bike.
Let them make mistakes. This is very hard for parents to watch. But it is often the best way for them to learn how to fix a mistake and make better decisions later. If they make a mistake, don’t ask them why-ask them how. How are they going to fix it? This teaches them they can fix things and it is not the end of the world if they make a mistake.
Help them manage their emotions. Emotions are OK, but how you handle them is a skill that can be taught. If someone ate their cookie, and then they threw a tantrum-the anger was ok but the behavior was inappropriate. Have them brainstorm what would have been appropriate.
We want our children to be successful. To do that we need them to have the skills they need to make the right choices when we can’t be there with them. Take time this summer to build resiliency in your children.
Concepts from Marie Tarkakovsky’s “10 Tips for Raising Resilient Kids” 2018