Building resiliency in children is so important. I hope you are not only learning what resiliency is this week, but seeing how you can assist your children to build it within themselves. It's so important for positive emotional health.
Building Emotional Resilience
Identify and Express Feelings: To build emotional resilience, children first need to feel emotionally and physically safe to express what they are feeling. They need to know that it's okay to talk about their feelings and they won't be judged or condemned for them.
Sometimes kids have a hard time actually identifying what they are really feeling. They might "act out" instead of talking about what's really going on. If parents and teachers can be patient and try to talk about the feelings underneath the behavior, they can help the child move to the next step......coping with their feelings.
Coping: If there is one thing our generation of parenting struggles with, it's allowing our children to figure out how to not only handle uncomfortable feelings but to cope with them. We want our children to be happy and comfortable. We want to fix whatever is making them uncomfortable. But kids need to be allowed to feel what is going on with them and learn to cope. Otherwise, when they are on their own, they won't have a clue how to cope and will find negative ways to do so. You can still be there for them and encourage them, but allow them to pick how they will cope.
As parents, it might be helpful to list some positive ways to cope at a time when they child isn't upset. Make a list and then you can refer to it when they are upset. It can be challenging to come up with the list in the heat of the moment when they are upset.
Helping kids identify, feel, and cope with their challenges will build resilient kids!
I hope this has been helpful for you all this week. Tomorrow Joleen will give some positive resources if you want to read more. Thank you for reading!
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.