Resilience is a trait we all need. Especially when this year hasn’t been easy. But it’s been a real-life exercise in the power of resilience, especially now that lockdown fatigue has well and truly set in.
What is resilience?
Resilience is a trait that helps us cope with challenges that life throws at all of us. It is a learned set of behaviours that allows us all to bounce back. It’s about continuing to move forward, despite setbacks.
It can be as simple as resetting our goals or asking for help.
The good news is resilience can be taught, but how can we do this?
Acknowledge that dealing with disappointment can hurt
Don’t bottle that disappointment up inside – talking about it gets it out in the open. It is important for your kids to be self-aware of their feelings. Share your past experiences with your kids. Maybe talk about a time when something didn’t go your way and you had to get back up on the horse.
Talk about their strengths
These may have been pushed into the background when facing difficult times. Don’t overpraise them but do point out how their strengths have helped them in the past. Talk about this regularly not just when something goes pear-shaped.
Offer support but don’t be the ‘fixer’ all the time
Help your kids think about solutions but don’t do all the thinking for them. Working through challenges physically and mentally is what builds resilience.
Talk about how they tried to handle a tricky situation
Help them to see the bigger picture. Yes, that was a difficult situation but you looked for solutions. These can help you next time you face something similar. There are good resources available to help illustrate this, especially for younger kids, e.g., the book Ooey Gooey Gone by Karen Mowbray
Make sure they know they can ask for help
They need to know this isn’t a sign of weakness or failure – we all need support at times. Adults seek it from our partners and friends when times get tough. Your kids need to know it is okay to ask for help whenever they need it.
Build confidence that things will improve
Right now, it is challenging for everyone, but things will get better. In the meantime, acknowledge the small things. This might be finishing their maths or writing for two minutes longer. Make sure you celebrate small gains that will lead to bigger achievements.
Learning to be resilient will help your child through difficult times now and in the future. Remember,
Bonus: How to find the bright spots in your day
Throughout the current New Zealand lockdowns, we’ve fielded an increasing number of communications from parents worried about their kids. The impact of distance learning and being unable to see their friends and family has caused a lot of kids to struggle.
One way to highlight bright spots for your whanau is with reflection. At the end of the day, you could use Three Good Things. Another variation is getting everyone in your family to share something they are thankful for that day.
These are something to do at shared time, maybe dinner. They’re strategies to think about small moments that sparked joy.
They remind us of the good that’s all around us, even when things might not be ideal.
Our Kidz Course, Building Resilience, will start in Term 1 2022. This course is for 7 – 11-year-olds and will be held at our rooms in Morningside. More information coming soon.
Various sources are acknowledged. Understood, Psychology today,
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