Though we all wish to protect our children from all discomfort or challenges, the truth is that they need to learn to navigate the world themselves. The best way to prepare your child for the hardships and difficulties of life is to help them build resilience.
But what is resilience, and how can you build it in your child? Researchers have found seven ways children can build resilience, called “The 7 C’s of Resilience.” Read on to learn more about the 7 C’s and why children must have resilience.
Resilience is a form of inner strength that helps us deal with stress and adversity. It helps us bounce back after facing hardships, challenging times, or even traumas. Those who have resilience can get through some of the worst times of their life with little to no mental baggage or scarring. Those without resilience have difficulty bouncing back from even the smallest of challenges.
Resilience is an important trait to learn. It not only aids with survival but it contributes to overall well-being. Those without resilience struggle to move forward with their lives after a trauma or hardship, and their mental health is often negatively affected.
Children must navigate a world that their parents could never imagine. These include challenges and hardships that will be unique to their generation. Though you may hope that you can protect your child from everything, there are some challenges you may not be able to help with.
This is why resilience is so important to build in children. It means that no matter what they face, they have a good chance of bouncing back to live a full life afterward.
BetterHelp provides more information on the importance of resilience and building it up in yourself. For now, let’s move on to ways you can build resilience in your child.
Don’t worry if your child is not resilient yet. Resilience can be built up, and there is no better time to do that than in childhood. While you can’t protect your child from every potential hardship they may face, you can encourage behaviors and mindsets that lead to resilience. Read on to learn how the 7 C’s can help develop your child’s resilience.
Children cannot be resilient without confidence. It is much harder to achieve anything in life or work through struggles when you do not believe in yourself. On the other hand, children who have confidence believe in their skills and competence and know they can overcome any challenge if they put their mind to it.
However, confidence is not earned by telling your child they are special. Instead, it is earned by praising your child’s personal qualities (such as integrity or persistence) or by giving positive personal feedback (e.g., telling them specifically why their art or writing is good).
Resilience is tested in times of stress and adversity. Coping refers to one’s ability to deal with stress effectively. Those who do not have coping skills can break down at the slightest bit of stress. On the other hand, children with great coping skills will know which situations are not worth stressing over. They will also have strategies to deal with their stress when it arises and have a plan of attack to deal with the stressor.
To improve your child’s ability to cope, teach them healthy strategies to deal with stress. Options such as getting enough sleep, exercising, or meditation help decrease and prevent stress. Instill these habits early on, and your child will have a plan when faced with any type of stress.
People who don’t develop essential life skills such as budgeting, communication, creative thinking, or problem-solving have a much more difficult time in life. Therefore, if you want your child to have a strong foundation entering adulthood, teach them essential life skills.
Furthermore, allow your child to fail so that they can learn how to get back up again. If they make a mistake, they need to learn how to amend it on their own. It’s normal for parents to want to fix these issues for their children, but children need to learn this on their own to develop more resilience.
Navigating life is a lot easier when you have a support network to fall back on. Those who are alone have fewer people to help them out. Make your love and support known to your child early on so they know they can always depend on you in a crisis.
Furthermore, allow your children to develop a strong circle of friends. Help them with any issues they have with social skills or making friends. Though every child will have different needs regarding the size of their social circle, they need to have at least one or two people they can rely on. Encourage participation in extracurriculars or groups they show an interest in.
Children are empowered when they learn that they can give back. Teach your child that not everyone has the same advantages as your family, so it is important to help others as much as possible. Show them that contributing is not only the right thing to do, but it feels good and is rewarding.
You can introduce your child to volunteering or if they are old enough to hold a job, encourage them to donate to their favorite cause.
Children need to understand the difference between right and wrong at an early age. This helps them build character, which is founded on values and integrity. Though every family will have a different idea of what good character is, encouraging your child always to do what is right will certainly build their resilience.
Children can not build resilience without feeling somewhat in control of their lives. Yes, they must listen to their parents/guardians, teachers, and other authority figures, but they should be allowed some decision-making.
Children who are not given some freedom often grow up feeling as though their lives are beyond their control. They feel like their actions don’t matter, so they accept defeat and let others dictate their lives. This can have far-reaching consequences into adulthood.
Therefore, as your child demonstrates more responsibility, give them more freedom and say in certain decisions. Also, highlight any success they had as a result of their actions as this shows them that they do have some control over their destiny.
Without resilience, children cannot easily navigate the ups and downs throughout life. In adulthood, they may become too dependent on others for help or make little effort to improve their lives. By incorporating the 7 C’s into your parenting, you ensure that your child grows up resilient so they can take on whatever comes their way.
Author Bio: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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