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Guiding Your Child to Resilience: Essential Steps for Parents to Foster Lifelong Well-Being

Written byDesiree Smith

As parents, we constantly look for ways to set our children up for success. Helping them build emotional resilience is one of the most powerful ways to do that. Emotional resilience is defined as a person’s ability to cope with change and stress. But here’s the challenge: We aren’t born with this quality; we must learn over time.

In the ups and downs of life, emotional resilience is the key to building a healthy mind, managing stress, and overcoming burnout. As we become more emotionally resilient, we gain a more positive outlook on life and see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Adults and children are constantly looking for ways to develop more resilient minds. While you may not handle every difficult situation perfectly, you can use what you’ve learned so far to guide your children toward greater emotional resilience.

Raising Children With Resilient Minds

Emotional resilience is a skill children develop as they grow. Resilient kids are more likely to take healthy risks because they don’t fear falling short of expectations. They know their limits, but more importantly, they know when and how to push themselves. They also tend to be more competent problem solvers.

Promoting emotional resilience in your children has a wide range of benefits, from an increased ability to cope with adversity to healthier relationships. This critical component of emotional health makes it easier to navigate life’s challenges and manage stress, all while maintaining a positive outlook on life.

Children with resilient minds also excel in emotional regulation, meaning they are able to recognize and manage their emotions in various scenarios and situations. As a result, they’re more likely to build and maintain healthy relationships through empathetic interactions, effective communication, and conflict management. 

As children overcome challenges, they gain more confidence in their abilities and strengths, which promotes a positive self-image. Since it serves as a buffer against the adverse effects of stress and trauma, resilience has also been linked to lower rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems later in life.

8 Ways To Raise a Resilient Child

You can’t always control the struggles your children go through. From trouble on the playground and difficult teachers at school to more traumatic experiences, there are countless challenges that are simply part of growing up. As unfortunate as that may be, it’s our job as parents to give our children the tools and resources they need to overcome adversity with strength and courage. Here are a eight practical ways to promote emotional resilience in your child:

1). Offer Support.

Providing unconditional support is one of the best things you can do as you guide your children on their journey to greater emotional resilience. Build a strong emotional connection with your kids by spending one-on-one time with them. Encourage them to engage in open communication. Actively listen to their concerns. Validate their feelings. Offer guidance when it’s needed. All of these actions are essential, but the most important thing is consistently letting them know that while circumstances may change, your love and support will not.

2). Promote healthy risk-taking.

Encourage your children to do things outside their comfort zones — within reason, of course. Healthy risk-taking involves doing something they wouldn’t typically do but that will result in very little harm if they fail. If you don’t encourage them to take chances, your children may become risk-avoidant and think they aren’t strong enough to handle challenges. Support them as they try new activities, take on challenges, and make their own decisions, and allow them to learn from their success and failures.

3). Don't fix problems for them.

As much as you may want to, stepping in and fixing problems for your child can do more harm than good. Instead, ask them questions about what they’re going through. Help them think through the issue and come up with a solution. You can offer guidance and tools, but let them take the lead in finding solutions.

4). Teach problem-solving skills.

Again, your children need to know you’re there to help them if needed. Brainstorm solutions with them by coming up with a list of ideas; then work through the pros and cons for each. Break down large, daunting tasks into smaller, manageable pieces. Encouraging them to learn from trial and error is an excellent way to boost their independence and self-confidence.

5). Talk about emotions.

Create a space where your kids feel comfortable talking about their emotions. Teach them that all feelings are important, and help them label their emotions to make sense of what they’re feeling. Negative emotions are okay to feel, but reassure them that those emotions typically pass with time.

6). Embrace mistakes.

As you teach your children to work through their problems and emotions, help them embrace their mistakes by showing they can lead to growth. This step may involve being transparent about some of your mistakes and how you recovered. Ultimately, you want your child to understand that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. 

7). Encourage positive thinking.

Even as circumstances change, a positive outlook on life is essential to emotional resilience. Nurture optimism in your children by highlighting the positive aspects of situations. Help them reframe their negative thoughts into more positive ones so they can demonstrate strength and resilience in the face of adversity.

8). Model resiliency.

One of the best ways to build resilience in your children is to model it for them. Let them see how you use coping strategies to navigate difficult situations in your life. Label your own emotions, and talk your kids through your problem-solving process. Like it or not, your children watch to see how you respond to the challenges you face. Your emotional resilience can be a powerful example of resilience in action.  

At the end of the day, every child is different, and the circumstances they encounter will vary. Instead of fueling their negative emotions, take a proactive approach and help them overcome challenges. If you’re seeking further support for you or your child as you navigate through the hardships of adolescence, we’re here to help. Contact iTrust today to get the personalized care and support you and your child need.

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