I get knocked down but I get up again and again and again…

There’s a never ending list of things that keeps parents awake at night. For new parents it is the nightly feeds and nappy changes, however it doesn’t end once they finally sleep the night through. Ask anyone with kids, questioning your parenting, wondering what else you can do to make sure that your child is happy and healthy is the norm. It’s difficult because your child didn’t arrive with a ‘how-to’ manual.

It’s well reported that mental health concerns in the lives of our young people are at all time highs. The figures are as high as one in four suffering at one point or another. Young people are concerned with stress, school or study problems or body image concerns. The pressures of growing up in the digital age has resulted in increased levels of depression and anxiety. Everywhere they turn, (television, social media and magazines) young people are shown happy and successful ‘role-models’ who seem completely carefree, without a worry in the world. Revered and idolised ‘celebrities’ produce an impossible illusion that can not be lived up to.

But before you fret and feel there is nothing you can do, read on…

Helping our children to develop the skill of resilience will assist them to tackle the knocks and hardships that life inevitably throws their way.

Resilience is an ability to be able to bounce back after getting knocked down. It is the way that we cope with set backs and disappointments without them becoming debilitating hurdles that hamper our progress.

Developing resilience in your child can be done many ways. Try these ideas with your family and take note of the difference resilience makes in the life of your child:

  • Model resilience in your own life. Rather than giving up or throwing your hands in the air when things get difficult, persist. Keep on trying
  • Encourage failure. Sometimes, in an attempt to protect our children, we forget to let them make mistakes, however, this does not benefit them in the long run. Failure helps to build resilience. It lets us know that effort is greater than achievement
  • Help your child to reach out to others. Family and friends are a huge support when things don’t go according to plan. Remember: we need to help our children to overcome adversity however this can be challenging. These times become easier when we surround ourselves with people who care
  • Talk things through. Building resilience requires us to be a little vulnerable. Working through these ideas with your child helps them to realise that you are their greatest supporter

Helping your child to become more resilient is an important part of parenting. It’s tempting to protect your child from setbacks and difficulties, however, building the essential skill of resilience will serve them much better now and into the future. There comes a time when our kids will unfurl their wings. We can’t be there forever to smooth the path before them so its pays to lay the groundwork now.

For more help building resilient children head to valueoftheweek.com.