Resilience is being able to bounce back from tough situations. No matter how much parents try to protect their children and shelter them from life's challenges, sooner or later they may face difficulty.
Examples of challenges that children may face include:
- Death of a family member
- Parental separation
- Changing homes or schools
- Starting school/daycare
How well children cope with whatever life throws their way determines how resilient they are. Raising children who are resilient and who can successfully adjust to life's obstacles will guide them along a path toward positive and healthy development.
As a parent, you are the most important person in your child's life and in a great position to strengthen your child's resiliency. Your relationship with your child is the most important relationship in his/her early life.
Research shows that children and youth who show resilience have one or more adults who love and believe in them and stay connected in order to provide constant emotional support. Healthy families solve problems with cooperation, creative brainstorming and openness to others.
Here are some quick tips to help you give your child the tools he/she needs to stay resilient when problems, stress or life changes occur:
- Be nurturing and attentive to your baby. Use warm responsiveness when setting limits for your toddler.
- Recognize all of your child's successes. This will help him/her develop a positive self-image. Children who are always told what they are doing wrong develop poor self-images. Catch your child being good.
- Always respond to your child when you are needed. Your child will be less likely to give up when problems happen and will look for ways to deal with stress.
- Children need to be in loving homes where parents are warm, responsive and sensitive. Regular, positive contact with your child such as reading with him/her daily and using non-harmful discipline will positively affect his/her development.
- Consistent messages are important. Young people need consistent messages about what is important and what is expected of them.
Staying healthy, balanced and connected with others will help you in your parenting role. Here are some tips to help you be a resilient parent:
- Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise.
- Stay connected with friends, family and other parents.
- Don't take on too much as very busy schedules can be overwhelming for both you and your child.
- Little breaks and small vacations go a long way to help you re-energize. Arrange for a babysitter occasionally.
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