Teaching Resilience in Children: A Guide for Parents

mental models resilience Jun 08, 2022

Teaching Resilience in Children: A Guide for Parents

As parents and educators, we all want our children to develop resilience and perseverance in the face of hardship. But which challenges should we encourage them to tackle? This is a subjective matter. Some kids are willing to go through the pain of overcoming obstacles to accomplish things that matter to them, while for others, it may seem like a waste of time and energy.

Before we can determine what matters to us and our children, we need to have a clear understanding of our values. This way, we can focus our energy and resources on the things that truly matter and avoid persevering with things that don't.

I believe that resilience is not a character trait but rather a choice. While some children may appear to be resilient because they don't show distress, this is not always the case. It's important to remember that resilience depends on various factors such as personal drives, interests, motivations, and context.

Emotionally sensitive children who cry easily may demonstrate resilience by staying in the game despite their pain and distress. On the other hand, some children may appear to be resilient because they are super compliant, but in reality, they are just going through the motions.

So how can we help children develop resilience and perseverance? One way is to model it for them. We need to show them what it looks like to deliberately and intentionally pursue something we want.

Starting the day with a personal mantra or affirmation can be a great way to set our intentions and maintain focus. We should also practice gratitude and ask ourselves what we intend for our lives.

Teaching children to develop their personal mantras, focus on their prize, and breathe with their diaphragms are some practical steps they can take to manage their emotions and maintain momentum along their journey.

However, there are some caveats to keep in mind. It's important not to impose our dreams on our children or compare them to others. We should also avoid overwhelming them with stories of hardship or making them feel guilty for not persevering.

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