No parent wants to see their child suffer. Resilience can help protect you and your loved ones from difficult experiences, but how do you build resilience in your child?
In this article, we’ll give you some tips to promote resilience in early years so you can have confidence in your parenting and help set your child up for success.
What is resilience?
According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, resilience is a person’s ability to overcome significant challenges. While many people experience hardship at a young age, each person responds differently, and some are able to rise above the negative events in their lives more easily than others.
The question arises, then, how one becomes resilient. While there is likely some genetic impact on personality, there are also ways that parents and caregivers can foster resilience in children.
How to build resilience in your child
Invest time: Perhaps the single most important factor that can boost resilience in a child is the development of at least one strong relationship with an adult. According to Harvard University, this relationship must be stable and enduring in order to help children in their social and emotional development.
Thus, a significant investment of time is essential to true and lasting resilience. If you’re hoping to find tips for how to build resilience in your child, the number one thing you can do is to make a conscious effort to spend quality time with your child.
Teach real-life social skills: While a relationship with you is critical, it’s also important to urge peer relationships. When children are able to learn and practice skills like sharing, empathy, compromise and communication, they will be better equipped to handle adversity now and in the future.
Model a healthy stress response: Even when it feels like your children aren’t paying attention, they notice and replicate your behaviors and moods. Take a step back and consider how you respond to stress, anxiety and sadness.
One of the best moves you can take as a parent to promote resilience in early years is to retrain yourself to handle adversity well. While no one handles stress perfectly, we can all surely improve. Take the necessary steps to regulate your emotions and your stress level, even if you need professional help to do it.
Foster hope: One of the key things every child needs to build resilience is hope, especially when the future seems gloomy. A positive outlook on the future can pull a child out of feeling helpless and offer motivation to move past hard times.
You can foster hope in your child by setting goals for the future, making upcoming plans that are engaging and exciting and modeling hope yourself.
Accept setbacks: No child instantly becomes resilient. It can take months or even years to see improvements, especially if your child experienced something traumatic.
Both you and your child will need frequent reminders that failure is ok, even expected.The important part is that you get back on your feet and keep trying. This mindset of using setbacks as fuel for learning is called a growth mindset, and is one of the best ways to boost your child’s resilience, according to Mayo Clinic.
Address unnecessary stress: Children who experience significant hardship in their lives need time to heal and recover. When they aren’t allowed the time or space or give skills to overcome adversity, they’ll remain emotionally stagnant. It can be incredibly difficult for a child to be resilient if they’re battling stressor after stressor.
In order to give your child what he or she needs to move on, it’s important that you remove as many stressors from the environment as possible. Maybe it means pulling back on extracurriculars, asking for accommodations in school or cutting out chores. Each child will have unique needs in this area, but many of these stressors are in your power to change.
You can make a difference in your child’s life
Helping your child overcome adversity can feel like an enormous task, but with these practical tips you can learn how to build resilience in your child. Start with one tip at a time, focus on it for a week or as long as it takes to consciously commit to it, and then add another.
And while resilience is important, sometimes it’s not enough. When children go through hardship, sometimes the best thing you can do is get connected to professional help. Make a positive impact in your child’s life and get connected to counseling. Pyramid Online Counseling can help you and your child face life’s challenges and come out the other side as a better, happier person. Call 833-525-3077 today.