Inside: Since we won’t always be there to hold their hand, raising resilient kids ensures they know how to overcome life’s inevitable stressors. Don’t forget to check out the Growth Mindset Set for kids with 10+ beautiful resources.
How To Raise Resilient Kids
We’ve heard a lot about resiliency these days. Undoubtedly, our kids have learned a lot over the past couple of years about how to deal with changing rules, uncertainty, and how to stay optimistic when things feel gloomy. Amongst everything going on, kids continue to inspire and do more than we could ever imagine. Raising resilient kids is certainly a necessity these days!
So many of us want to be helicopter parents, whether we realize it or not. But sometimes, we need to let our kids discover things on their own.
Resiliency is all about bouncing back and rolling with the punches. By knowing how to be independent, they can figure things out on their own.
We often think about resiliency the most during hard times. However, resiliency goes beyond survival. It’s also about thriving when things are going well. Kids need resiliency all the time from:
- Starting in a new school
- Dealing with bullies
- Embracing a bad haircut
- To missing a week of school
You can be resilient physically, mentally, and emotionally. As a parent, you can nurture resiliency at a young age.
Below you’ll find some of the key components to raising resilient kids. Once the foundation sets, you watch the resiliency grow all on its own!
8 Methods For Raising Resilient Kids
Raising resilient kids doesn’t just happen! So, before you do everything for your kids, try to work together and encourage them to step out on their own with these tips.
Check out the Growth Mindset Set for kids, to build confident, resilient, thriving and positively-minded children.
Build A Foundation
Before you can even begin to push your kid outside of their comfort zone, they need to have a comfort zone. Kids need to feel safe and trust you before even attempting to figure things out for themselves.
Why would you go and do something even scarier if you’re already anxious?
If a kid is learning how to take the bus to school for the first time, they need to know that you’re able to give them a ride to school if they miss the bus. Feeling safe and supported means having a place to come back to if they need it.
Resiliency isn’t about teaching your kids to do everything independently and manage for themselves. It’s that they’re open to trying things, are unafraid to ask for help, and know problem solve when they need it.
Having open communication and treating each other with kindness are the baby steps to resiliency.
Problem-solving is an essential skill we all need to learn. Raising resilient kids means they need to learn that there isn’t always going to be someone advising us on the best course of action, how to act, or how to get out of certain situations.
Tip: If you have a child that feels upset, anxious, or angry, try to problem-solve together. Have them identify how they’re feeling out loud and then come up with a plan on how to make things better.
Most problem-solving consists of taking something that seems out of hand and breaking it into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Ask what tools and what help they need to solve the problem. Doing this together and vocalizing the steps means that kids will learn the tools to eventually do the process on their own.
Celebrate Small Efforts
When we think of resiliency, we often think of big accomplishments. For example, we hear about someone who went to the Olympics after suffering a major injury and going on to receive a gold medal. Yes, that’s resilient, but so are so many smaller everyday tasks.
In reality, we overcome moments of frustration, conquer our fears, and deal with our major emotions every day. These are all moments of resiliency.
If your child scraped their knee after falling off their bike but then chose to get back on and cycle again, that’s resilience right there!
Give Kids Breathing Space
Many of us are guilty of being hovering parents. We worry about them not looking both ways while crossing the street on the way to school, so we end up driving them every day. As parents, we want to be around our kids at all times and make the world as safe a place as possible.
But, we need to learn when it’s okay to take a step back. At certain ages, they will need to get more and more freedom.
Kids start off going in the backyard on their own, followed by the neighborhood. Eventually, you’re driving them to the mall with their friends, and then they’re driving places all on their own.
Tip: Try your best to identify when you’re being overprotective and grant your child age-appropriate freedoms.
Encourage Them To Challenge Themselves
When resilient kids feel safe and supported, it’s time to spread those wings and fly. Kids may need some encouragement to go beyond their comfort zone. They don’t need to scale any mountains or audition for the lead in the school play. Maybe all they need is to join Boy Scouts or audition for the ensemble!
These challenges don’t have to be big. By doing something you didn’t want to initially do and surviving or even coming out on the other side better, you’re drastically proving how much you can do.
As a parent, you should know how to challenge them, when the best time to do so is, and how much to push them. So it’s all a fine balance and baby steps are okay.
It can be easy to stay in your comfort zone with your kid. The light of your life, you want them to have everything they could ever want! But, when they come into adulthood, they will quickly realize that’s not always going to be the case.
If a kid doesn’t want to go outside of their boundaries, don’t allow everything to always go their way and take the opportunity to challenge them for personal growth. It can be as simple as saying no to stopping at McDonald’s on the way home or that they will have to sleep in their own bed tonight.
While they may be upset that they have to eat casserole for dinner or have to face the monster under their bed alone, they will eventually get used to it. Things don’t always go their way, but they’ll learn that’s okay, and they will be better for it.
Let Them Find The Answers
Kids naturally are inquisitive creatures. All the time, they’re going to ask questions. While parents often know the answers or have a suspicion, sometimes kids can find out these things for themselves!
Tip: Instead of directly answering questions, try saying I don’t know instead or challenge them with a question of your own. This forces them to deal with uncertainty and that they won’t always know what to expect. Perhaps even think a bit deeper to come up with their own solution.
Start this off with small situations. For instance, if they’re going to the dentist and ask if they will need to get a filling, try saying, “I don’t know. It depends on how well you’ve taken care of your teeth. Have you been brushing every night and every morning?”
Sometimes we have to let our kids fail. Even if it’s painful to watch, the best way to learn is through mistakes. For instance, if a child doesn’t finish their project in time, let them see the consequences of not doing their work rather than completing it for them.
When we fail, the last thing we want to do is try again. This is why it’s essential that we don’t put too much pressure on failing. Resilient kids need to earn that it’s okay if they fail, and it will happen. Nobody’s perfect!
Tip: Try to make these mistakes a learning opportunity. Ask your kids what they would do next time and how they can make it better from then on.
Be A Role Model
Kids will always model their behavior after what they see. If they see you being resilient, they will be too…even if they don’t understand what that means!
If you effectively manage your major emotions like anger, stress, and sadness, they know that’s the proper way to deal with being upset. On the other hand, if they see you getting angry over things, they will think that’s an appropriate response, and suddenly you’re constantly dealing with temper tantrums from your kids.
Tip: Try your best to vocalize how you’re feeling and what you’re doing to make yourself feel better. Then kids will understand what emotions are and how to deal with them.
Most importantly, if they’re misbehaving, keeping your emotions in check will go a long way in ensuring they learn how to deal with difficult situations. After all, that’s what their parents do!
As a parent, it’s easy to worry about doing things wrong. We always want to ensure we focus on our child’s well-being and that they emerge from childhood glowing. But, kids need to learn to overcome obstacles on their own too.
We can’t always be there to guide them!
Life gets stressful. There are so many things out of our control, and resiliency is how we deal with them. Throughout your kid’s life, there are going to be plenty of lows and even more highs.
By raising resilient kids, you know that they have all the necessary tools and skills they need to get through it all.
More Resources On Positive Parenting:
- Raise Kind Kids: Teaching Intentional Acts Of Kindness
- 7 Signs Your Child Needs A Mental Health Day
- 14 Factors That Influence a Child’s Behavior or Trigger Their Misbehavior
- Help For A Child Who Reacts to Environmental Triggers & Sensory Overload
- Teaching Feelings & 6 Steps to Help Kids Express Their Emotions