Resilient Children

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I thought this week I would dwell on resilience and with a little help from Parenting Educator Michael Grose, give you some strategies to help increase resiliency in our children. Although we all want what is best for our children, sometimes we make decisions for them which is not building their resilience.

Michael Grose outlines a few examples that all parents have been guilty of at some time!

Parents who fight their children’s battles for them

There is nothing wrong with going into bat when children struggle or meet with difficulty inside or outside School but make sure this is the last resort, not the first option.

Resilience solution # 1: Give children the opportunity to develop their own resourcefulness.

Making their problem, your problem

Sometimes parents can take too much responsibility for issues that are really up to children to work out or decide. Here’s a clue if you are wondering what I am talking about: a jumper is something a mother puts on her son when she is cold!

Resilience solution # 2: Make their problem, their problem.

Give children too much voice

In this era of giving children a voice it is easy to go overboard and allow them too much of a say in what happens to them. Children often take the easy option to avoid hard or unpleasant situations.

Resilience solution # 3: Make decisions for children and expect them to adjust and cope.

Put unrealistic or relentless pressure on children to perform

Expectations about success and achievement are important. Too low and children will meet them. Too high and children can give up. Too much and children can experience anxiety.

Resilience solution # 4: Keep expectations in line with children’s abilities and don’t put excessive pressure on them.

Let children give in too easily

Resilient learners link success with effort. They don’t give up because they don’t like a teacher or when confronted with multi-step or more complex activities. Similarly they don’t bail out of a sporting team half way through the season because the team is not winning or they are not enjoying it.

Resilience solution # 5: Encourage children to complete what they have started even if the results aren’t perfect.

Neglect to develop independence

Don’t wait until they are teenagers to develop the skills of independent living. Start early and promote a broad skill set so that they can look after themselves if you are not around.

Resilience solution # 6: Don’t routinely do for children what they can do for themselves.

Rescue children from challenging or stretching situations

There are many times children are put in situations that are outside their comfort zones for a time. For instance, giving a talk, singing at the school concert or going on school camp may be challenges for some children. They are all situations that children usually cope with so show your confidence in them and skill them up rather than opt for avoidance.

Resilience solution # 7: Overcoming challenges enables children to grow and improve.

Sometimes the manageable hardships that children experience such as a friend moving away, not being invited to a party or completing a difficult school project are fabulous learning opportunities. They help children to stretch and grow. Dealing with them effectively also teaches children that they are capable of coping when they meet some of life’s curve balls.

Actualise Daily

Actualise Daily the the Life and Work Oracle. Live audio interviews, mind expanding videos, provocative articles, and opportunities. Published by Michelle Duval since 2002 Actualise Daily is a biweekly online magazine featuring articles, videos, and podcasts for professional and personal development.

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