Tips on Raising Resilient Kids

June 17, 2024 by First Federal Bank

kids-1You know from experience life can be challenging. As a parent, how do you help prepare you children for the ups and downs they will face? How can you give them the skills they will need to navigate challenges in their own lives? asked child development experts for tips on raising resilient kids. Here’s what they had to say:

Build trusting relationships

 As a child development expert, Lauren Brown shares, "One of the most important ways to build resilience in children is by focusing on building strong, trusting relationships. When children have at least one stable, supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult, they are more likely to take risks, step outside their comfort zone and manage stress because they know that this person will be there to support them."

Open communication

 Research suggests positive communication in families provides the foundation for arming children with skills to cope with stressors and recover unexpected challenges. Parent–child communication is particularly is particularly important when it comes to modelling responses to stressful circumstances. Supportive, instructive, and responsive communication bolsters resilience, while it was found that controlling or dismissive communication methods encouraged children to be volatile or impulsive when faced with adversity.  

Solve problems together

 You don't want to solve kids' problems for them, but there's nothing to stop you solving them together as a team - this is something Lauren sees a strong positive. Her opinion was, "If your child comes to you wanting you to fix something, try to help them find the solution for themselves by giving them your full attention, looking at the problem together and then posing a question that will lead them to try a new approach for themselves. Teaching problem solving skills will help them have the confidence to have a go on their own in future." 

Be open about your own challenges

Kids learn by example, and being honest about your own challenges can teach them how to overcome their own. "By demonstrating how you manage resilience by letting your child know when you have made a mistake, and allowing your child to see how you manage a setback is a great lesson in resilience. Share with your child how you feel about it, in an age-appropriate way, and let them be aware that you may experience disappointment or hurt, but that you can keep on going." 

Teach kids about risk-taking

 Lauren feels very strongly that talking your kids through different types of risk-taking will add to their resilience levels. "Psychologists tell us that we need to recognize and understand the difference between dangerous risk-taking and healthy risk-taking so that we can model and teach this to our children.

Let children label their emotions

 Helping kids to understand their emotions is a step towards facilitating acceptance of them. Lauren suggests letting kids label their emotions models a positive strategy for managing emotional expression. "When faced with a stressful situation or problem, teaching children to label their emotions can help them to understand the physical sensations they are experiencing."

Embrace the magic of outdoors

 Lauren is a strong advocate of getting outside. to help foster resilience in kids. "When faced with stress, research tells us being outdoors in nature helps the body reset, the mind feels calm and your mood improve. If going outdoors is not an option, my go-to solution is always 'just add water!' take a bath, have a shower, pour a cold drink, set up an activity playing with water, it is never failed to reset everyone’s mood!"

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You can’t fix your child’s problems. But you can support them as they learn to address the challenges they face. And set them up for success in life by helping them grow into resilient adults.

Categories: Family

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