Tips for Building Resilience in Kids

Resilience may be defined as the protective emotion that helps us cope and get through adversity, tragedy, threats, trauma, and other sources of stress. When it comes to resilience in children, it relates to a child’s ability to deal with ups and downs and recover from the challenges they face during childhood. Building resilience from a tender age helps develop basic habits and skills that are necessary for facing challenging situations in the later stages of life.  

Building resilience in kids is mostly about teaching them some specific coping strategies and tools for cultivating trust, kindness, adaptability, self-esteem, and healthy relationships. It is important to remember here that every child has some degree of resilience. Teachers and parents also have a role in promoting resilience in children.  

  • Building Empathy: We can help our kids become more empathetic by guiding and teaching them to visualise, consider, and understand the challenges and struggles faced by others. Books are an extremely useful resource for children to grasp the concept of empathy as well as feelings such as loneliness, frustration, sadness, hunger, anger, etc.  
  • Go-To Person:  When they face challenges in life, it is important for children to have at least one go-to person they trust and can confide in.  Parents and teachers can easily be the person a child can reach out while facing any type of difficulty, and assure them of all types of help to bail them out of the trouble.  
  • Listening: There is a lot of difference between hearing and listening. In many occasions, parents and teachers may feel that they are listening, but they are actually hearing. This is why it is important for us to practice active listening by turning towards them, making eye contact, and engaging in the conversation. 
  • Acceptance: In order to build resilience in children, parents must be ready to accept their children as exactly what they are. Some children may find it difficult to understand new concepts in science and need more practice. On the other hand, some others may need more time to excel in social skills. Parents and teachers must be patient enough to guide them from where they are.  
  • Strength Identification: Parents and teachers must be able to identify a child’s areas of strength and create opportunities for building on those strengths. Utilisation of strengths makes children confident, and helps explore other activities where they may not necessarily be strong.  Children exploring their core strengths are more likely to become resilient easily.  
  • Approach to Mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes in life. Help your child understand that mistakes are not catastrophic and can create the foundation for opportunities to grow.  
  • Responsibility Development: Create opportunities for children to develop responsibility. For example, you can guide your child to take care of the garden, look after pets, help you around the home, clean their spaces, etc. Children feel more connected when they are able to participate at home in meaningful ways and this connection fosters resilience.  

For more similar guidance related to your child’s development, please get in touch with our expert early childhood educators at Valley Heights Preschool Long Day Care Centre.