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Help Kids Build Resilience, Part 1

All of us go through tough times. Some students have more than their share. Divorce, death in the family, events in the news, high-stakes testing and many other factors add to the normal stresses all kids experience. Children need to learn to bounce back when they are feeling these stresses. Those who are able to bounce back easily are said to be “resilient.” There are things parents can do to help build resilience in their children. I plan to write more on this topic in the next few weeks.

First and foremost is that every child needs to know there is at least one adult in their life who cares about them, who takes care of them, and who will help them when they are feeling low. This adult is often one (or both) of their parents or guardians, but sometimes it can be another adult in their life. It might be a neighbor, teacher, minister, grandparent, or coach. This provides a sense of security—a sense of belonging.

Maria might think, “My best friend is moving away and I won’t ever see her again. But at least I can still talk to Nana Rose.” Because of Nana Rose, Maria has a sense of hope for the future and will realize that there are ways to keep in touch with her best friend. All is not lost, after all. She is able to bounce back and start figuring out ways to make sure she does not lose her best friend just because she is moving away.

I wrote in an earlier blog about failure being a normal part of life and how to help children through it. Experiencing failure and overcoming it help to build resilience. Come back next week to learn more about other ways to help.

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