Written by: Nicole Filiberti, LCSW
As much as we try to avoid it, failure is a part of life. Making mistakes and being the person who takes a while to learn something are situations we try to avoid as much as we try to avoid catching the flu in the winter! Raising our children to be resilient humans requires accepting our own imperfections and shortcomings as adults. Another important facet of being resilient that has to be mentioned is our ability to bounce back from the difficulties that life throws at us unexpectedly. Allowing yourself the space you need to heal and bounce back is crucial in your ability to be resilient.
According to Bonanno, Masten, Panter-Brick and Yehuda (2014), some of the factors that determine how resilient one can be are rooted in biological, psychological, cultural and social causes. We all have different ways that we react and respond to stressful events. Modeling resiliency for your children to see is a great way for them to grow up as resilient people who are armed with the skills needed to persevere through hardships.
Walk Them Through The Process
Show your kids what it is like to make a mistake and be okay with it. Depending on your child’s age and developmental level, you can break this process down step by step in a clear way for them. Remind your children that they cannot control what happens to them, but can only control how they react to it. Engaging your children in conversations on this topic where it is discussed and processed can be very beneficial.
Maintain a support system and utilize them when needed. Reach out to your friends and loved ones when needed. Keeping yourself actively involved in groups and/or engaged in social relationships can be significant in bouncing back after a hardship. The tricky part here can be reaching out and requesting the help you need. Show your kids that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. The more you can normalize for them the act of seeking support through relationships, the more likely they will be to do this when they find themselves in need.
Make Self Care A Priority
Taking care of yourself is not at the top of the list for most parents, many of whom are also juggling the demands of a career and multiple other responsibilities. Keeping a close eye on your own wants and needs, and actually following through with getting yourself what you need, is essential in staying resilient throughout life’s challenges. This could look so different from person to person and highly depends on what is relaxing and serves you.
Southwick, S. M., Bonanno, G. A., Masten, A. S., Panter-Brick, C., & Yehuda, R. (2014). Resilience definitions, theory, and challenges: interdisciplinary perspectives. European journal of psychotraumatology, 5, 10.3402/ejpt.v5.25338. doi:10.3402/ejpt.v5.25338
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Dr. Liz Matheis
Dr Liz Matheis and her team specialize in assisting children and their families with Anxiety, Autism, AD/HD, Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Struggles