Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from struggles. Any single parent knows firsthand how important it is to raise a resilient child. Here are 10 ways to raise a resilient child.
This is a guest post.
Life is filled with serious responsibilities and difficult choices whether we want them or not. While growing responsibilities in adulthood are inevitable, childhood isn’t exactly stress-free. If not correctly handled, it can be prone to many negative feelings and influences. Like pressure young children faces from school stress, bullying, changing neighborhoods, and making new friends. With these hard times comes a lot of weight on them. So it can be hard for them to take on more responsibilities.
What helps young children in navigating these kinds of challenges is resilience. Resilience is “the ability to recover when something bad happens.” A resilient child learns to cope with difficulties and maintain a stable emotional, social, and physical state during challenges. Resilient children learn how to deal with negative feelings during a given situation. They don’t let self-destructive thoughts overwhelm them. They are aware that their feelings are only temporary and can survive in the middle of all the stressors without letting them take over their life.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is not an innate trait, but it’s a skill that can be learned, modeled, and nurtured at any age. Helping young children develop resiliency isn’t something that parents can do in one conversation or with a quick run-through; it is a process that requires guidance and practice over time. Through a strong support environment and committed relationship, parents can help young children understand their feelings and navigate those negative emotions to make themselves feel better.
As a single parent, your job is to teach them to handle uncertainty with confidence. Parenting a resilient child can take years of practice, but you definitely won’t regret it. Resilient children don’t have to struggle with the same problems their parents do. Instead, they can face life’s challenges without crumbling and losing all of their energy.
How Can Single Parents Raise Resilient Children?
Below are valuable suggestions and techniques for raising resilient children.
1. Accept your child’s weaknesses.
Parents tend to focus on their child’s strengths but neglect their weaknesses. When a parent focuses on the good, the same can be said about their children. Resilient children understand what they are, and they know how to compensate for their weaknesses. Don’t forget that strengths are just as essential as weaknesses are, and you shouldn’t make your focus on being perfect or perfecting one trait over another.
2. Encourage effort, not results.
Resilient children don’t feel the need to always be perfect in everything they do. They understand that things won’t always go according to plan, and they can accept it without feeling sorry for themselves or thinking that their failures define who they are as a person. A resilient child will try new things instead of instantly giving up if it doesn’t work out the first time.
3. Give attention when your child reaches a goal.
Resilient children know that they need to earn the right to be acknowledged. Parents should remember that young children learn from their actions more than their words. When a child gets something they want, they can feel proud of themselves and confident in themselves. Like nothing will ever go wrong.
4. Make your child’s strengths visible for others to see.
Resilient children know what makes them special and what makes them unique. They know what they like to do best and how it would feel if they were in that situation.
5. Teach your child to keep a sense of perspective.
Resilient children know that everything they encounter in life is not as bad or complicated as it seems. It is a trait they should acquire at an early age because it will help them be patient and put things in perspective when they need to.
6. Show your appreciation for their strengths, no matter how small.
Resilient children know that no matter how small they are, they are still good at something. So find a way to recognize and praise them for their little strengths, and it will help them build confidence in themselves. It will also encourage more to rise out of the ground from that little strength, even if it is just a tiny one.
7. Model the proper behavior for your child when things don’t go as planned or predicted.
Resilient children understand that there is always room for improvement, and they aren’t afraid to admit when they are wrong. You should never make your child feel ashamed or embarrassed about their shortcomings, but instead, you should model the correct way of handling adversity. Mentally healthy parents will understand their mistakes and take time to reflect on what they could have done better.
8. Don’t overreact when your child makes a mistake.
Children learn by example so keep your emotions under control when they say or do something wrong. If you can react appropriately, it will help your child avoid having an emotional breakdown. It will also teach them not to be afraid to make a mistake in the future, and it will encourage them to have the courage needed to do what’s right for themselves.
9. Be patient with them even when you know they have a better way to do things.
Resilient children understand that there is always a better way to do something, and they will be happy and excited to learn about it. A resilient child from a single-parent household understands that they still need time to master everything they are capable of doing. A parent’s patience is vital because it gives the child a chance to learn at their own pace.
10. Let your child know that you support them, but you don’t interfere with what they can do independently.
Resilient children don’t need someone to complete their lives for them. They know they can make decisions on their own, and they fulfill themselves with the help of the people around them. Resilient children understand that their parents are there for support and that they are never alone.
Parenting a resilient child can be difficult for any parent, but the rewards are much more meaningful. A resilient child knows when to step back and take time to think about how they would feel in a particular situation. Resilient children know what it is like to be faced with adversity, and they know how to deal with life’s challenges. They learn from their mistakes instead of running from them or letting them get the best of them.
About the Author
I’m Andrea Gibbs Born, raised, and still living in New York. I’m a work-at-home mom with a background in business development, strategy, and social media marketing. I’m a blog contributor at Baby Steps Preschool to motivate and educate other parents about how they can get their children ahead of the game in school.