Resilience: What is it, how do we teach it to our kids and how can we implement it as adults?
Updated: May 15, 2019
What is it?
Resilience is our ability as human to bounce back from adversity. It could be your response to any type of major stressor , a fight with a close friends or spouse, a death of someone close to you and something as major a divorce. Resilience is a muscle, it can be practiced and it can be built throughout your lifetime. Many people worry about children and resilience in the digital age where cyber bullying and other controversies make many of us believe we are doing a disservice to our children. The bombardment of images and lifestyles that are manufactured popping up online, on TV and virtually everywhere have us parents worried about the speed at which children are maturing being forced to grow up and understand realities many of us didn’t know existed until we were at an age of maturity when we could make sense e of it all. There are ways to build resilience in our children and ourselves as adults like we build a muscle when we work it out. Here are some useful ways to practice resilience;
1. Be an example to your children and others. Learn efficient methods to display characteristic of empathy and compassion, autonomy, a sense of belief or faith in yourself and a positive outlook/optimism. Talk in your home with your children about the positivity in the face of adversity. As adults, you can practice writing out negative situations and then turning the page and writing out the positive perspective of the situation. Much of this practice will help an adult get their words out on paper and get in touch with the habit of becoming aware of their inner thoughts.
2. Teach your children about healthy relationships including secure attachments and clear boundaries. Rules are important in relationships. Use them and teach them. Allow yourself to say no when needed instead of a polite “we will see” or ok, although you know you cannot commit to the request.
3. Show your children you value yourself, self care routines and discussion about education of their mother, career mothers and mothers who display autonomy within their lives influences especially daughters to display high levels of resilience.
4. The ability to detach from problems and teach emotional self-regulation. Teach your children to be able to accept a mistake, feel the consequences of the mistake and then move on. Did you know it is healthy to feel anger and resentment for up to only 30 seconds following a situation? Although this may be hard for some, training can make it a norm.
5. Exposing yourself and your children intimately to bicultural factors. Celebrate your own culture, whatever it may be but also engage in your local community. Befriend those that are different than yourself, your children will learn acceptance and a different perceptive.
6. Do things you enjoy: Do what you like to do. Take time during the day to spend time with your family and tell your kids what you are doing when you do it. Share your intentions with them, plan trips with them, and tell them why you like what you like.
7. Let yourself and children experience stressors, and allow yourself to recover from it in a supportive manner. Teach your children to deal with stress constructively, which could be individual to them. Promote listening to music, deep breathing and other strategies to calm down in the moment. As adults, learn similar coping skills. Its never too late to build your music collection again, to go for a run and think, to be mindful in the moment.
Amy Syed is a Mother, an activist and founder of FindyourHCP.com and this blog” www.liberationfromthedailygrind.com .She is a vocational rehabilitation consultant and Registered Kinesiologist who lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit www.amysyed.ca. All rights reserved, 2019.
Citing research produced in studies including: “Take These Broken Wings and Learn to Fly: Applying Resilience Concepts to Practice with Children and Youth Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence published December 8, 2017.