How can we develop resilience in children?
Resilience is a word used to describe the ability to bounce back from bad stuff that life deals out to us all occasionally.
It’s important to develop resilience in our children because current research shows that it is one of the protective factors against mental health issues later in life. (http://www.catholic.tas.edu.au/Resources/documents/kidsmatter-1/risk-and-protective-overview.pdf)
According to Andrew Fuller (Raising Real People Creating a Resilient Family, ACER Press 2002) there are many ways to develop resilience in children but the most important include:
- Promoting a sense of identity by creating family times where all members are values for their differences.
- Setting age appropriate boundaries and being consistent in enforcing them.
- Encouraging children to feel valued by allowing them to have some age appropriate responsibilities.
- Develop diverse friendship groups in children by encouraging outside school interests.
- Creating and maintaining family rituals such as birthdays or goodnight rituals.
- Children are at school for a long time so be careful to select a school, if possible, that best matches your child’s “fit”.
- Have positive expectations for your child.
- If possible, link children up with a caring adult who is outside of the family.
- Foster and encourage curiosity and spontaneity not only in children but also yourself!
- Most importantly, nourish your own resilience and well-being so that you can show them how to live and love life.