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Building Your Child’s Resilience: A Toolbox of Tactics

We can almost forget about our childhood once we’ve gone through the difficult parts, but we need to remember; kids have it tough. You might have grown up thinking that everything was difficult, but now that you’ve lived the life you can convey the divine wisdom to your children that actually it’s not so tough, it just felt hard at the time. But this is not the right approach. It’s important that our children learn to be strong and deal with problems, but rather than just letting them get on with it, we need to provide steady guidance so they can build resilience in the face of all obstacles, whether it’s divorce, anxiety, or bullying. How can we do this? 

Promote the Idea of Healthy Risk-Taking

Some people can argue that everything is “too safe.” But we have to remember that risk-taking is not a bad thing. Taking a risk is something that will push your child outside of their comfort zone but will not cause harm if they are unsuccessful. One of the best ways for us to do this is to take them out of their domain. The great outdoors is an excellent way to get our children used to the unsteady nature of the world. And you can do this, not just for their benefit, but as a family bonding exercise. 

If you are looking to start on this journey it’s important to make sure that you are also ready to go out of your comfort zone. And even if you haven’t been camping for years, there are plenty of suppliers like EcoGear FX that can help you get back into the swing of things. We have to remember that when our children avoid risk, they are reinforcing the idea that they are not strong enough to handle the challenges of life. When children embrace risk-taking they are learning how to push themselves.

Help Them to Label Their Emotions

Rather than telling them to suppress a certain emotion that is perceived as negative at the time, being aware of emotions when stress runs riot is an essential way to make sense of what is going on. We need to teach our children that every feeling is important, and labeling each one is a great way for younger children to understand if they are experiencing jealousy or sadness. 

We also have to remember that these bad feelings will pass, but also if they are experiencing a stressful emotion that they are not able to work through, they can benefit from coping skills to relax within the situation. Something that’s not known very widely is that when you breathe in your heart rate speeds up, but when you breathe out, your heart rate slows down. When in doubt, breathe out. Additionally, learning to breathe slower gives you more control over your physiology. There are some fantastic resources on the power of breathing to control your state, and even learning one or two can make a big difference to help anybody cope with a stressful situation. 

Do Not Fix it for Them

Many times children will come to us for the solutions to all of their problems. Our natural response is to explain or give them a lengthy diatribe, but one better strategy is to ask questions. When you start to ask more questions about an issue you are helping them to think through the problem and come up with more actionable solutions. 

Brainstorm Problem-Solving Skills

Resilience is essential, but we also need to remember that we all need help on occasion. This is why it’s a good idea to expand their mental toolbox. When your child has a problem, you can brainstorm a number of potential solutions, and the next time they encounter this problem they’ve got options to choose from. It’s also beneficial to encourage your children to weigh up the pros and cons of each idea. This goes back to the idea of helping children be aware of the consequences of their actions. Because if our children associate a problem with something negative and are not solvable, our children will naturally start to shy away from problems. Brainstorm ideas, weigh up the pros and cons, and repeat. 

Embrace Every Mistake

If you notice your child is becoming highly anxious this could be down to them avoiding the idea of failure. And this could be down to us, especially if we focus on end results and apply the pass or fail approach to life. This is a very black-and-white method that everybody needs to get out of. 

Mistakes are important and we need to learn how to embrace them because this will promote a growth mindset. Mistakes are the best way to learn anything, and when your child makes a mistake you can discuss how to avoid making that mistake again, but it can also help your child for you to talk about mistakes you have made and how you got out of it.

Build a Strong Connection With Your Child

Finally, for every child who is experiencing difficulties, the notion of a safety net is important for them. It’s not a good idea to let them learn about things completely by themselves, but you’ve got to help your children develop the skills within the context of a caring environment. When your child knows they have your unconditional love and support this will make them feel empowered to attempt things, to seek guidance, and to work through difficult situations. 

It also allows you to develop an honest relationship with your child. Reinforcing the idea that your child can tell you anything is so important and if you are now coming around to the idea of building a stronger connection after years of being a distracted parent, don’t beat yourself up, but remember that it can take time.

Of the many things we have to teach them in life, resilience is an essential skill but rather than teaching them that life is tough, focus on developing the toolbox of tactics.

 

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