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Help Kids Build Resilience, Part 2

Last week I wrote about resilient children. Children who are resilient can bounce back after they experience a setback. When Gino failed a test, he was disappointed. But he didn’t stay depressed about it and quickly realized he needed to do something to prevent it from happening again. The most important step to resiliency is having a trusted adult who cares. Gino went to his nonno (grandfather) about the test. He talked to Gino and helped him to make a plan.

There are other things parents can do to help their children recover from difficult times. Another key is to teach them to take responsibility for their own actions. If Maria backs her mother’s car into the trash can, she has two options. She can blame herself for not being careful enough. Or, she can blame whoever put the trash can in her way. If she is allowed to blame someone else, she is learning that responsibility is out of her control. Other people are shaping her life experiences—not her. Everything that happens to her is not her fault. If everything that happens to Maria is because of someone else or just luck (good or bad), then she does not learn how to take charge of her behavior and change things for the better.

There are situations when she has no control over what happens to her. But Maria needs to understand that many times she could have made a difference. This is what gives Maria the confidence she needs to move forward, to bounce back after a defeat. She is a competent individual.

I will write more about how to help your children become resilient in my next blog. Please comment to let me know what you are doing to help your children when they are feeling down. Have you seen a difference in how they respond to the rough times?

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