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Nurturing Resilience in children: Strategies and stories

What is Resilience?

In simple terms, resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity, overcome challenges, or adapt to difficult situations. Resilience is like having a strong inner power that helps you keep going, even when things are tough. Building resilience in children is an important part of parenting.


It is normal to feel sad, frustrated, or upset when things are challenging or don't go your way. Resilience doesn't mean you won't have these feelings; it means finding ways to cope with them and keep moving forward. For instance, imagine you're learning to ride a bike. It's hard at first, and you might fall. But you don't give up. You keep trying and practicing until you can ride without falling. This is a simple example of being resilient.



Little boy outdoors hurt from the feel of scooter

Why should kids be resilient?

Kids who don't have resilience are at an increased risk of experiencing negative emotions. They show signs of stress and anxiety, poor academic performance, and behavioral problems. Children's emotional well-being depends on their ability to develop resilience. Resilience helps children navigate challenges, setbacks, and stressors effectively.


Take our quick 2-minute quiz to find out if your child is resilient or not! Click here.


Ben’s story

Ben was a ten-year-old boy who hated sports. He gave various excuses to avoid physical activity. However, his teacher was determined to make Ben physically active. In a bid to motivate Ben, he set a challenging ultimatum. Ben had to select a sports activity or risk missing out on the school’s cultural events.


The ultimatum hit Ben hard. Singing was his true passion, and he could not imagine letting anything hinder his love for music. He approached his teacher and pledged to participate in the running race and faithfully attend practicing sessions. During the coming days, Ben put in a valiant effort by showing up for practice three times a week. His determination never wavered.


On the much-anticipated sports day, Ben anxiously stood at the starting line, adjusting his clothes. When the whistle blew, he sprinted forward. After some time, he got tired and slowed down. He stumbled, then ran, each time getting a little farther. He started to breathe heavily.


Ben might not have been the fastest runner, but he gave his all and resolved not to surrender. He was determined to win the race. The crowd began to cheer, not at Ben’s perfection or speed but at his determination. As he crossed the finish line, the audience erupted into applause. Ben got third place in the race. He did not win first place but won something even more important – the admiration and respect of everyone in school.


Ben’s resilience had shown everyone that even when faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge, with hard work and determination, one could achieve their dreams. All he had to do was persevere and work a little harder to reach their goals.


How do we build resilience in children?

Promote a growth mindset


Promoting a growth mindset in children can lay the foundation for resilience. It teaches them that challenges are opportunities for growth and improvement. It helps them face adversity with a positive and determined outlook. Children often learn by observing adults, accepting challenges, and showing resilience in the face of failure.


Praise effort and persistence


Praise your child's effort, hard work, and perseverance rather than their brilliance or talent. Reiterate the notion that, as long as they are trying their best, making mistakes is acceptable. Positive remarks like "I believe in your ability to learn" and "You have the potential to improve" should be used when praising.



kid playing cubes


Set realistic expectations


Encourage your child to set achievable goals and break them down into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate each step of progress to reinforce the idea that effort leads to success.


Normalize challenges and Celebrate mistakes


Everyone faces challenges, and they are a natural part of life. Share stories of your own challenges and how you overcame them, emphasizing the learning and growth that resulted. Tell them that mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow. Share your own mistakes and discuss what you learned from them. Create a safe environment where your child feels comfortable making errors.


Share True Stories of Resilience


True stories are inspiring. They demonstrate incredible strength, courage, and resilience. They serve as powerful examples of how children's actions and determination can make a significant difference in the world.


RUBY BRIDGES


Ruby Bridges was the first African American child to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was a young child, just 6 years old. She faced racial discrimination, threats, and a hostile environment at school. Despite facing immense adversity, Ruby displayed extraordinary resilience. She attended school daily and became a symbol of the civil rights movement's fight against segregation.


To learn more about Ruby, click here.


Learner Circle

Learner Circle offers various skill-based courses for your children. Learning a new skill not only enriches one's life but also equips one with valuable tools and qualities that promote resilience. Whether it's picking up a musical instrument, learning a new language, mastering a sport, or acquiring a technical skill, the process of learning and growth can significantly enhance an individual's ability to bounce back from adversity and thrive in the face of challenges.

To learn more about Learner Circle, click here.

To book a free demo session, click here.


Conclusion

Building resilience in children is a crucial aspect of their emotional and psychological development. By following these tips, you can help children develop the skills they need to cope with challenges and setbacks in life. Resilience is a valuable life skill that children can develop over time. Encourage your children to stand strong in facing everyday trials and be there to support and guide them as they navigate challenges.





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