Did you know you might be doing your child a disservice?
What do you do when they fall down or hurt themselves? Do you immediately rush over, pick them up, and soothe their wounds?
While this might seem like the loving thing to do, it actually isn’t the most helpful. Children don’t learn to be as resilient when their parents are always stepping in for them.
So what is resilience and why should you be worried about it? Let’s find out!
What Does it Mean to Be Resilient?
Resilient people bounce back from tough situations quickly. They tend to feel less stressed by life events and more readily tackle the challenges of life.
Where Does Resilience Come From?
Resilience is both learned and innate. Some people are simply born with more resilience than others. These are the kids that won’t be stopped. If they fall when taking their first step, they will roll over and try again. If they skin a knee while playing tag, they won’t be sidelined.
However, the right factors in a child’s environment can help children born with less resilience to develop it over time.
How to Build Resilience
A strong, supportive relationship with at least one parent (or another adult) is the biggest factor in building a child’s resilience. That knowledge that someone always has their back is crucial.
Of course, always having their back is different from always fixing it for them. Sometimes, you have to take a step back and let your child figure out how to deal with a situation on their own. The hard part is knowing when to step in and how strongly.
You can also foster resilience by encouraging your child to be independent. When they are little, allow them to pick out their own clothes or put on their own shoes. As they grow, they should have responsibilities around the house and be encouraged to take responsibility for their own affairs, such as homework.
It’s also important for children to learn how to handle their emotions. Little kids have big emotions and they’re looking to you to learn how to deal with them.
Finally, give your child plenty of opportunities to develop their problem-solving skills. Critical thinking and creativity will foster a positive attitude that will see them through any situation. If there isn’t any opportunity available, they will figure out how to make one available.
Bringing Up a Resilient Child
A resilient child will grow into a resilient adult who will not easily be cowed by the world. They will have the strength to stand before life’s challenges and not give up, even when the going get’s rough.
However, developing that resilience takes time. Some kids are faced with big problems long before they are strong enough to handle them alone. A therapist for a child can be very helpful in these situations to help them learn how to handle the current situation as well as be better prepared for other life events in the future.