School, and life in general, can be challenging for a child, but there is a way you can help them. How? Build your child’s resilience.
Resilience is what helps them cover from a bad grade or getting an answer wrong in class. They bounce back and aim to do better next time. They also have you as a parent to help them nurture that resilience. Leaving them able to cope with any challenges and setbacks they face.
However, as with all qualities, what comes naturally for some can be a real struggle for others. So, what exactly is resilience and how can you help your child to build theirs?
Qualities of a Resilient Child?
If your school aged child is resilient, they’ll have adopted a reflective thinking style and be less impulsive in their decision making. You may notice now that you feel more confident letting them take the lead. You need to intervene less to prevent consequences you’d rather avoid. They’ll have learned to deconstruct problems to build solutions based on previous experience and predicting the outcomes. Although, they’ll still need plenty of practise to master these skills fully.
Whether they’re building a cubby house or facing a maths problem, they’ll know it’s easier to tackle a problem in stages. They’ll believe they can influence their world; it’s at this age that children can become more vocal about issues such as the environment or animal cruelty and this passion can fuel their motivation.
They’ll have a variety of strategies to cope with setbacks and accept trial and error is often the route to success. You may even find that humour forms part of their repertoire as they can laugh at themselves before starting over.
A resilient child has more than problem-solving skills. Their social skills will also be well-developed for their age. Their sociability will make them well-liked and it can be around this time they start to turn to their peers for support as much as you.
How Can You Nurture Resilience in Your Child?
One of your greatest weapons is flexibility in responding to their needs. Some children will be autonomous and independent and others more emotionally expressive. Regardless of their personality, they will need your support in their own ways. An independent child may benefit more from gentle prompts. A more expressive child may need to deal with their emotions before picking themselves up and trying again.
By providing a safe place for your child to work through their problems, they can start to form and perfect their own strategies to deal with them. Listening to them and helping them to identify the root cause of the problem and formulate a plan to deal with it, enables them to develop their understanding of how to approach finding a solution.
Setbacks can affect their confidence. Your reassurance and support will go a long way to get them to try again. Sharing your own experiences will help your child see their situation more objectively. It is important we teach our children that failed atttempts are learning experiences. When we keep trying with different approaches it is growth, not failure.
A child who has strategies to deal with challenges and a safe space to practise using them, understands that failure is not an end to all their options. With the confidence that they have firm support in you, they won’t shy away from the unknown.
As a parent, you’re in the best place to nurture a resilient child who can face challenges with persistence and determination and a smile on their face. When you do, your child will cope better with the challenges and setbacks school and life present them, and that’s a major reward in itself.
To ensure your child has the best start to build their resilience and emotional intelligence check out the Peaceful Kids program. This mindfulness and positive psychology based programs give children from Prep to Year 12 the skills, practice and support to utilise coping strategies and techniques, teaching lifelong skills to better deal with life’s stressors and worries.