If we are to foster resilient traits in children, there are some do’s and dont’s. There are definite character traits and qualities that are crucial in navigating everyday challenges. Children who learn early that they’re worthy of love, and can trust others to help when needed develop resilience. This foundation enables them to deal with adversity.
Consistency instills a sense of ease and confidence. Children do appreciate structure and routine; it’s what makes them feel secure, and gives life a sense of predictability. This is something children need in order to bounce back from hardship.
There are also some traps to avoid:
- Doing too much- Rather than complete a task for a child, encourage him and offer to help brainstorm new ideas when he seems stumped.
- Doing too little- Children left to handle problems far beyond their means often feel helpless.
- Overprotection- Kids can’t develop confidence in their power to overcome obstacles if you remove life’s challenges.
- Shaming- Such statements as “Big girls don’t cry,” “You shouldn’t feel that way,” and “That’s ridiculous” will only make a child doubt herself.
- Overpraising- Kids have a keen ability to size up their own skill levels. They’ll lose trust in a person who gives them false acclaim.
- Focusing on the negative- Instead of “You’re so messy,” opt for “I see you’re having difficulty keeping your room clean. Let’s try it together.”
- Self-criticism or inflexibility- A child who hears his mother or an important adult in his life call herself stupid or sees a father or adult unwilling to ask for help often follows in those footsteps.