Resilience. A skill that is increasingly getting more attention in homes around the world, for adults and children alike. But what is it and how can we nurture it in our homes? Is it a skill you can learn or part of ones personality?
Resilience, at its core is how we learn to think about adversity, and how we approach obstacles large and small in life. Resilient humans, having the ability to bounce back after challenges and difficult times, a useful habit to learn. Life can be tough sometimes!
Here are 5 ways in which you can help your child build up resilience:
You know that moment you are making something together, like cookies and your child’s version could do with some perfecting. Try to hold back and let them experience the trial and error of getting it to a point they are happy with.
Support your child but try not solve all small issues shielding them from all discomfort, this will help them build confidence and get creative solving their problem. Praise their effort to keep trying rather than judging their result.
Help your child build self-compassion, by being kind to themselves and others, by experiencing gratitude. Here is a question game, that some family friends play together at dinnertime. Everyone must answer three questions:
1) What did someone do today to make you happy?
2) What did you do to make someone else happy?
3) What have you learned today?
You might be inspired by the answers! It can be fun to learn from your child and put things into perspective.
“The child that doesn’t do anything, doesn’t break anything!” A fellow mama wisely says. Although we might find things easy and take what we do everyday for granted, a child needs to learn from scratch. And what better way to learn, than by trying it out for themselves? Keeping age and skillset in mind, try to provide children with appropriate tasks they can help with and learn from. Encourage trial and error, until they master it.
Sometimes we can learn the most from our mistakes. Ways we can teach them about mistakes are 1. Telling them about that time mama & papa made a mistake, and how silly they were, but how it was solved in the end. Share your story with them and let them see how nobody is perfect. And most importantly 2. Give them the opportunity to correct their mistake and once they do, let them know you appreciate it.
And last but not least, help children become aware about how they feel. Sometimes facing challenges we can feel difficult emotions, which children have a hard time putting into words. By getting into the habit of labeling emotions, you help children become self aware. As they become older, they can keep in touch with their emotions and it can help them manage their decisions.
A simple series of questions to encourage reflection at family mealtimes could be:
What did you like about the day and why? How did it make you feel?
What didn’t you like about the day and why?
Overall, resilience is not a genetic trait, it can be learned and help young people (and parents!) deal with many daily life situations. Like doing your pelvic floor exercises everyday.
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