In my many years of experience with children, I have noticed that some children excel in times of difficulty and unsure events,whereas some children turn handicapped in the same situation and seem to go downhill with fear and anxiety. Why does this happen? The answer is pretty simple. Children who believe in themselves in handling problems are able to confidently face the trails that come their way. On the other hand children who have never had an experience of dealing with problems are unable to cope with unpleasant situations and break down easily.
The skill to be able to rise up in the midst of life’s challenges is called resilience. Resilience is a skill that needs to be taught to children and nurtured to build within them the ability to channelize the stress and anxiety they are confronted with in a positive way.
One of the ways we can build resilience in children is to take a step behind and give them the freedom to make mistakes, to try out new things, even if it means making a mess or leads to waste of time. As parents we automatically want to protect our children from the smallest obstacle that can make them unhappy and thus turn to become helicopter parents always above them to protect them. However, such parenting subconsciously makes the child feel incapable of handling any situation that causes them discomfort and limits their opportunities to try only those that give them success.
Another effective way of practising resilience is by not giving in to their every wish. This will teach them that they cannot get everything they want. It may cause frustration and an awkward situation in the present moment, but stay firm as this will help them to lead a happier and healthier life.
Children need to believe in who they are and this belief needs to be nurtured in a loving and caring environment. For example Ben is not good at Math but his family are Math wizards. Ben needs to find his strength and not be put down because he is not like everyone else. He would need a supportive family who cares about him no matter what.
It is essential to teach children to be optimistic in all situations. For example, Sarah is not chosen as class leader. Sarah is definitely sad but her family motivates her by sharing life stories of people who were not chosen and how they stood tall in the midst of failure and never quit. She knows now that she can try again next time.
Finally help your child to believe that making mistakes are a stepping stone to success. Boosting their confidence will enable them to take risks without fear of failure.
Allow your child to soak themselves in the affirmations written below to build resilience: