Every parent wants their child to be resilient. Ask any child psychology or child development expert how valuable resiliency is and he or she will confirm that it is important.
First, let’s take a look at what being resilient means. In basic terms, being resilient means the ability to rebound or spring back to original form. Of course, we as parents want to shield and protect our children from every mishap and hurt, but this is not realistic.
As children mature, especially during pubescent and adolescent years, we have to take a step back and bite our lips as we painfully watch our children maneuver their way through this tough time. However, if we step in and act for them, take on their battles, and defend them, we do not allow them the freedom and the space to grow.
There are a couple of ways to teach your child how to be resilient during tough times.
Talk It Out
Show your child that you know how bad they feel by being empathetic. Let them know that you are there to talk it out and also to listen. Make certain that your child knows that no one gets through middle school or high school unscathed. It’s a rite of passage.
If your child knows that you have an empathetic ear, he or she will bounce back a lot quicker than going it alone.
Give Them Some Space
Make sure to give your child the space he needs to figure it out on his own. Sometimes we as parents want to fix it, make it all better, or just make it go away. However, when we do this we do not offer our child the opportunity to become resilient.
Learning that falls, trip-ups, setbacks, and mistakes are all a part of life does not mean that it has to be the whole of life. Learning that you survive, people forget, and that you can laugh at yourself later on in life are all tools to help them move on. Give them space to figure it out on their own. Let them know that you are there for them while giving them some elbow room.
Teach Them How to Laugh
One of the best ways to gain resiliency is to point out that one day they will look back and have the ability to put things in perspective. Teach them that sometimes they have to chalk it up to being human and, as a human, it’s about making and learning from mistakes. Let them know that it’s okay to laugh at yourself later on down the road. Teach them that it will get better.
One of the best ways to get them to laugh is to relate a story of yours when you were a young adult and things did not go as planned. Show them that not only did you survive but you thrived instead.
Point out situations where famous athletes and musicians were laughed at or scorned, sent away to find something else to do with their lives, only to succeed above and beyond the dreams, goals, or visions that they had.