What happens when your child falls down and scrapes their knee? Do they cry and scream a lot? Or do they jump up and keep right on playing?
Obviously, the extent of the injury will have some bearing here, but let’s assume an equal injury with an equal level of pain.
The second type of child will often have a happier life, not because fewer bad things happen to them but because they are more resilient.
What is resilience and what are the benefits of building resilience in your child? Let’s find out.
What Is Resilience?
The scraped knee example is simplistic but still a great example of resilience. Resilience has less to do with the challenge you’re facing and more to do with your response to that challenge.
A resilient person tends to be more positive about even the bad things that happen. They bounce back faster after a tragedy. Plus, they are just generally better at dealing with things when they go wrong.
Where Do Kids Find Resilience?
Resilience is both nature and nurture. If you’re not familiar with these terms, nature is the innate personality and temperament of the child. Nurture is the child’s environment, which is influenced by parents, caregivers, the community in which they live, etc.
A strong, nurturing relationship with at least one adult helps children be more resilient. Developing strong problem-solving skills and learning to maintain a positive outlook can also help.
How Can You Help Your Child Become More Resilient?
If your child is the type who is more likely to sit and cry after skinning their knee, don’t worry. There are many ways that you can help build resilience in your child.
For example, give your child lots of opportunities to develop problem-solving skills. Encourage them to be creative with art projects or come up with creative solutions to daily challenges.
Be a model for your child. You pass more than just your genes on down to your child, you also can pass your own resilience through your behavior. How do you react to hard times? If you tend to look for the silver linings, your child will learn to do it too.
Don’t hesitate to contact a professional therapist for a child in a really rough situation. For example, a child whose parents are divorcing or who loses a parent is facing an unnaturally difficult situation. A professional can both help them through their current situation as well as better prepare to handle rough times in the future.
Living a Resilient Life
Everyone has their own natural level of resilience. Plus, each one of us faces different life situations that further hone our skills.
Ultimately, those who learn to face challenges with a positive attitude and keep trying after a failed attempt, will live happier lives — regardless of their actual life circumstances.