It’s important for children to learn that everyone fails sometimes, and that making mistakes is normal. It can be tempting as a parent to swoop in and try to prevent our children from doing something wrong, but they need to experience this in order to learn how to fix their errors and make better decisions in future. It’s also vital we don’t rush to solve our children’s problems for them, otherwise they’ll never learn to find solutions independently and in the process realize they’re capable of more than they perhaps thought they were.
Help them manage emotions
The ability to manage uncomfortable or difficult emotions is part of being resilient, and children will only learn how to do this by experiencing the emotions and working through them. You can help by teaching them strategies for calming themselves down when they feel angry or upset, and exploring the emotions with them; for example, you could encourage them to practise deep breathing to deflect anger or write in a journal when they’re feeling sad. Learning to handle their emotions will help your child work through any difficulties they face in life and not let them derail them.
Encourage small risks
Prompt your child to step out of their comfort zone whenever possible and try new things, even if they’re scared. Of course don’t encourage your child to do anything unsafe, but pushing them gently to explore different things will boost their confidence and self-esteem as they learn they’re capable of doing many different things.
Your child’s resilience will develop over time and as a parent the best thing you can do is support them as they work things out for themselves. Resilience refers to the ability to overcome obstacles and recover from setbacks, and it’s a learned skill rather than something we’re born with. Children develop resilience by trying things out, failing, and trying again, and in the process learning they’re capable of bouncing back. Resilient children are able to approach life optimistically and take on new challenges, rather than shying away from them. Here’s some advice from a junior school in Kent on how you can raise a resilient child.
Model resilient behaviour
Children learn a lot from watching how their parents approach life, so make sure your child sees you tackling challenges calmly and persistently to achieve a goal. You can get them involved in any problems you’re experiencing by asking them to help brainstorm possible solutions. This will show them that hurdles can be overcome by thinking things through and not giving up when things get tough.
Let them make mistakes
Note: This is a collaborative post