We like to think of kids at fragile and spend lots of money in our homes padding corners, covering light sockets and making sure they can’t open cabinets but kids are a lot tougher than we think! and this great article is a must read
George Bonanno talks about the findings of his research and how our views of resilience has changed from the research done.
Is being resilient good for children? It is common for children to experience setbacks, unwanted challenges, failures and even difficulties at school. How are the children coping with these?
Resilience is the ability to take control of self during difficult situations, failures, challenges, and setbacks. Resilient children are those who are able to effectively handle any pressure and get things done, despite obstacles.
If resilience is good for children, how then can we help our kids to have it as parents? Here are four best tips on teaching resilience to your child that work.
Tip # 1 – Give our Children Undivided Attention
Quality time with children is not just being with them physically. We must give them undivided attention by listening with our heart. When we give our children attention, they will feel important. They will be confident that they trust and depend on us in handling their situation. As parents, we would know if our child is upset or emotionally disturbed.
Tip #2 – Put Yourself in Your Child’s Shoes
If what you planned did not materialize and you feel really bad, what do you usually do? Often, you will tell about it to your spouse or your best buddy. And, what is the most common reaction? Normally, they will tell you that it is okay and you can try again next time. There is nothing wrong with the response. However, it is not what you want to hear. You want empathy and assurance that they will be with you until you are able to recover from your disappointment.
Your children also need these things when they are down. They don’t want lectures or advice. Letting them know that you understand them and you are willing to support them will teach them resilience.
Tip # 3 Never Judge or Criticize Your Children
Accepting your children for whom they are is the one of the best ways to make them resilient. If you truly accept your child for whom he is, you will never judge or criticize him.
Well accepted and appreciated children become more confident and strong in facing any obstacles in life. If they know that they are not criticized for the way they are, they become more appreciative of themselves and do better in life.
Tip # 4 Determine Your Child’s Strengths and Develop Them
Not all children are the same. Each child has his own strength and weaknesses. Find out the strengths of your child and develop it. For example, if your child is good at music and craft; develop it and don’t make him excel in math or science. Help your child know his strength to promote resilience in letting him know that he excel in something.
Resilience, which literally means, “bouncing back”, is the capability to readily recover from the aspect of trauma, adversity, threats, tragedy and other considerable source of stress including family problems, relationship issues, severe health conditions or job and finance related stress factors. Analysis shows that resilience is not necessarily an unusual quality of a person. People commonly exhibit resilience by not allowing adversity to get them down, but rather rise above hurting or disastrous things happening in their lives, believing that these are momentary condition of events.
Resilience does not immune a person to the severe effects of life’s troubles and difficulties. Stress and loneliness consistently struck people who are experiencing major hardship in life. Truly, the process of resilience entails great amount of distress!
Significant harm can be inflicted to the children of a troubled family. However, resilient people take this as challenge to experiment and exercise how to respond actively and productively. The preemptive response of the children to adversity is repeated overtime; it incorporates into the children’s inner selves, and serves as lasting energy. The experts raised inquiry regarding the amount of resilience that is genetic. In a sense, people somehow differ in their inherent ability to handle stresses. However, resilience can be developed. There is a big possibility to build up inner self and faith in oneself, defining self as able and proficient.
Resilience involves several factors. Its main factor is to have caring and helpful relationship in the family and its surroundings. Relationships that generate atmosphere of love and trust; provide good examples, and offer support and reassurance would help boost resilience in a person. The other factors that are related with resilience include the capability in making practical plans and taking action to execute them; positive outlook of self and confidence in one’s strength and ability; aptitude in problem solving and communications skills; capability to handle strong feelings and severe impulses.
Strategies to Build Resilience
Development of resilience is personal. People react differently to life’s stressful and traumatic events. The approach of one person in building resilience that works for him, may not work to another person because people varies in his or her approach.There are approaches that reflect cultural differences, which might affect the impact on the way he or she expresses feelings and dealings with adversity. There are several other approaches to consider that can be the most appropriate way to develop personal strategy in building resilience.
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Resilient children will adapt better to stress and perform better in school. Here are some tips coming from families that have successfully raised smart, adaptable and resilient children:
- Your child should feel a strong connection with another caring adult that will serve as a role model other than you.
- Let your child make his own decisions. You must foster this attitude in every stage of his development. And as a part of making his own decisions you should also let him experience the consequences of his decisions and actions.
- Let your child feel that you care about what he does and tell him that you expect him to do his best no matter what his best is.
- Explore with your child different opportunities to show that he is unique and special. Teach him how to handle genuine compliments with grace when others laud him for his abilities and talents.
- Your child will be able to cope better when he feels that he is safe and secure. No matter how stressful your day may be, take time to bond with your kids and to connect with them. Talking to them and sharing about your day with them will make them value you more. They will in turn share something that has happened to them as well. Make this a frequent activity during dinner or at bedtime.
- Teach your child to value volunteering. A valuable contribution to the community could be anything from donating clothes, water, food or medicines or offering their time to doing community work. These activities will foster self-awareness and competence; he will also learn how to value himself and others.
- Make your child feel that he belongs to a family and that his presence is greatly appreciated. Make him care for a family pet, care for a younger sibling or assign him chores that will fit his abilities.
- Explore with your child his roots; browse picture albums, cook your family dish and go to a cultural event with your child.
- Teach your kids to accept things that he cannot change and how to improve himself. Every person is unique and this is what makes a person special.
- Teach your child how to fight for his rights; this will help foster social justice. Coach him and help him how to argue in a just and respectable manner.
Learning how to survive in today’s 24/7 work environment is the key to getting ahead in any career or business endeavor and having time for your kids. The secret to be able to do this without felling overworked is to master you time and to use it in an efficient manner. You will feel less pressured and less overwhelmed on your daily tasks when you learn these time management strategies:
- Create a feasible to-do list – make it a habit to construct a list of what you will do the night before. When you are finished with one task, place a check mark beside it. You will be able to boost your morale when you have accomplished most or all of the tasks that you have on your list.
- Remove possible distractions – there are just too many things that can distract you in this technological world; find ways to ignore these as you focus on completing your tasks. You can do these by silencing your phone, getting out of social media sites and just being in a quiet room of your house or closing your office door.
- Do not be afraid to say “no” – face it, you can never do everything at the same time. Be realistic and accept the things that you can and simply cannot do. Make your tasks your priority and learn to finish them before you volunteer for any other work.
- Find the best strategy for you – each of us has his own way of doing things, forget about conforming to the way things are done or the typical way that tasks are done. Focus more on how you can do things in your own way. If you like to do your homework in the evenings when everything is quiet then do so or if you prefer to do tasks on your own then by all means do it.
By mastering these simple yet effective time management tricks you will be able to improve your productivity and be able to take on more tasks in a day like never before. And even when there are impromptu activities and spontaneous events that you need to attend to you will be able to do so without feeling guilty about your day. Follow these and you will eventually have more time to spend with your family, your friends, your career and even more time for yourself.