How to Build Resilience in Children: Tips for Parents

The journey from adolescence to adulthood is marked by challenges: pressures related to academic success, relationships with peers, professional aspirations, propensity for intimate relationships, need for autonomy and experimentation, changing family dynamics and ever-changing digital landscape. This can have adverse consequences on young minds. That’s why it’s important to know how to build resilience in children.

Children may experience emotional setbacks that lead them to adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance use, conflict, school dropout, and increased vulnerability to anxiety, depression, substance use and suicide attempts.

To address these challenges, it is crucial to focus on ways to build resilience in children, equipping them with the tools they need to weather life’s ups and downs.

What is Resilience?

Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, adapt to change and thrive despite difficult circumstances. It is not a question of avoiding difficulties, but rather of developing the capacity to deal with them effectively and to learn from them. Resilience is not a static trait. Rather, it is a skill that can be cultivated and strengthened over time.

Chess can leave children with mixed emotions. Image provided by: Shutterstock

What are ways to build resilience in children?

1. Improve the parent-child bond

Parents and guardians need to actively listen and engage in non-judgmental conversations, validating young people’s emotions and experiences. It has been found that when young people know they have a reliable support system, they are more likely to seek help when needed. Young people should be encouraged to communicate their thoughts and feelings with these people, thereby fostering a sense of belonging and safety. Knowing that they are not alone in their struggles can bring them comfort and encouragement in difficult times and build resilience. Setting limits on the use of their devices and encouraging them to engage in offline activities can help them disconnect and focus on building real connections, which are essential for building resilience.

2. Cultivate healthy coping skills

Educating young people to prioritize their physical, emotional and mental well-being sends the message that their health matters. Exercising regularly, maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness, doing deep breathing exercises, keeping a journal, and engaging in creative activities like art or music can all be ways to healthy ways to process emotions and promote self-care. They can build their resilience by boosting their overall well-being. Additionally, teaching them to identify their feelings and express them constructively can prevent emotional suppression and promote emotional intelligence.

3. Make it normal to talk about chess

It is important that young people learn to see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a reflection of their self-esteem. When they understand that setbacks are part of the learning process and don’t define them, they are more likely to persevere and remain optimistic even in the face of adversity. This is one of the most important ways to promote resilience in children.

4. Encourage setting realistic goals and expectations

Children should be guided in setting short and long term goals, whether related to studies, hobbies or personal development. The sense of accomplishment that comes from achieving these goals can build their confidence and resilience. Unrealistic expectations can lead to feelings of inadequacy and stress in children. It is essential to set goals that are achievable and aligned with the young person’s individual strengths and interests.

Help your child become resilient
Setting unrealistic expectations can have harmful consequences for your child. Image provided by: Shutterstock

5. Find a supportive school and college environment

Schools and colleges play an important role in the development of young people. They need to run programs to promote emotional intelligence, mental health awareness, celebrate failures and anti-bullying initiatives. These can reduce pressure and increase well-being. Educators can also be trained to recognize the signs of struggling students and provide the necessary resources.

6. Seek professional help

While building resilience is crucial, it is important to recognize that some situations require professional intervention. If a young person is experiencing persistent feelings of depression, anxiety or other mental health issues, it is essential to seek help from a qualified mental health professional.

The last word

Improving mental health by promoting resilience in children is a multi-faceted approach that requires a collective effort by parents, educators and society as a whole. By investing in their resilience, we are investing in their ability to lead fulfilling lives with strong mental and emotional well-being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *