Raising Resilient Children
I recently had the opportunity to hear Ian Wallace, a local Consultant Psychologist, speak about the topic of “raising resilient children.” He discussed the need for children to have strategies for dealing with challenges so that they know, when faced with adversity, that they are equipped to overcome whatever challenge they are facing.
Some key points included:
Parents need to positively challenge our children to “have a go” with the encouragement of “you can do this” when faced with a challenge – big or small. We need to resist the temptation to quickly rescue, solve, fix or do things for our children that they may initially see as challenging or to over ‘catastrophise’ a problem. We can’t always be the providers of the solutions!
Highlight past success
When our children are faced with a challenge, recalling past successes is a great way to remind them of how they have previously conquered a problem. This focus on past successes coupled with genuine praise, when they do “have a go” or work towards a solution, will motivate and encourage our children to develop their resilience strategies.
Be a good role model
Parents need to be real and to talk with their children about times when they themselves, have had to be resilient. Sharing times that have not been easy with your children, explaining how you have “bounced back” or worked through a challenge is very positive role modelling.
When we build resilience in our children, they are equipped to deal with whatever challenge they may face.