Did you feel like you could take on the world as a child? Or were you one who preferred to stay out of the limelight and hide? Were your parents or guardian/s involved in teaching you about life and what it meant to be a good human being? If they were, that was very fortunate for you. If they were not, join countless other parents, teachers and guardians who have done the best with what they had, despite how they were nurtured as children.
Here are 5 quick tips that will put you ahead as a parent.
Did you know that it is when we are young that we learn about our own ability to problem solve, ride out discomfort, disappointment and life’s challenges? Children have great ability to learn just about anything when they are young. The fundamental skills and attitudes of resilience are no different from learning to walk, climb on counters, play games or learn to speak. You know that children learn so much from you without you realizing it. Let’s focus on how you can show them how to become resilient for a happy, success life.
As mentioned, we learn how to be resilient early in our childhood.
What does it mean to be Resilient?
It means you have developed “the ability to recover from or adjust easily to change or misfortune.” (Miriam Websters Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed) It really boils down to your child’s ability to get back up after they have been knocked down. Is this something you want for your children? Imagine how strong and courageous they could be in all aspects of their life in adulthood if they learned resilience skills as children and teens!
As Nelson Mandela once said: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising up every time we fall.”
What do you need to do to create a resilient child who will grow into a resilient adult:
- Start them with a clear vision of what it means for them to be a well-functioning young person in life. Give them clear, honest feedback about their strengths, weaknesses, family values and goals. Include them in as much as possible. Also, practice what you say so the verbal and non-verbal messages are working in synch.
- Help them set small meaningful, goals to achieve where they get a good sense of self on reaching them.
- Give them meaningful chores to do that make them accountable around the home.
- Be a charismatic adult in their life. The person they know who will support them, “go into bat’ for them in challenging times, and be there to show love and kindness at all times. Be the unconditional adult.
- Talk about social and emotional issues with them. Eg how to be a good friend, how to be kind and considerate to others, how to manage their feelings, and how to cope when they come across a difficult situation. Outline to them how to solve a problem step by step. Children who have well-developed social and emotional skills find it easier to cope at school and in the wider world.
- Encourage them to explore activities such as sports, the arts, crafts, music and games so they find something they enjoy and can become competent at. TV watching and video games probably don’t count as meaningful activities to be competent at. Kids learn the meaning of persistence and practice if they have an activity they enjoy, and they are encouraged to pursue it to a level of competence. This also makes a great contribution to their self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Spirituality, mindfulness and religion are all great to help create meaning in life for children and adults. They all help them understand what it means to be connected to others, and connected to a Higher Power than themselves. They can also improve family relationships, decrease risky behavior and highlight the importance of having a moral compass in their lives.