Don’t we all want happy successful kids? The ones who can fight back any difficult situations. The ones who can face rejections yet try again. Kids who do just fine even when they are not selected for a lead role in a school play or when their favorite toy is broken. The resilient children.
Why do some kids do well in the face of adversity while others crush? What makes resilient kids bounce back?
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ineffable value that pulls some people when knocked down by life to come back. Rather than letting difficulties or failure overcome them draining their resolve, they find a way to rise again.
While research continues to uncover what resilient people do to bounce, an association has been made with early childhood.
When children show healthy progress in spite of adversity, it is resilience. Adversity can be disagreement with parents to living in a war zone. Such kids facing hardship can develop negative emotions while few do manage to have a positive healthy route. They bounce back right from ashes. The children who bounce back or are resilient do not pose any rare biological quality. Neither can resilience be gained from parents’ DNA. It is a life skill.
Why is resilient important?
We all have weak moments in life and fall in the pit of darkness. Things turn ugly. Worse.
At that point on time human either fall in pit deeper crying or climb back as resilient. This resilience enables us to develop mechanisms for protection against devastating experiences. it helps us to maintain balance in our lives during stressful periods of time. And can even protect us from the rise of some mental health issues.
Raising resilient children. How to develop resilience?
Resilience is not some magical quality. Resilient people are able to shift course and move toward achieving their dream right after a mishap. Studies say that these elements of resilience can be cultured.
Remember how a toddler strives for independence, trying to do all work. Be it putting on shoelaces or working on a puzzle. As a parent, it might get frustrating when you are in a rush and ask him to hurry up. At that time even dropping on knees to help him, or rather help yourself.
But if the children give up or are forced to give up without repeated trials, how will he learn that? While growing up such a child would grow more dependent on parents and others to solve his problems. The resilience in the child got shaken without actual notice.
Meanwhile, if the child was encouraged to finish tying a shoelace or complete the puzzle, he would work towards a problem-solving attitude. He would grow up as a self-reliant individual.
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There is a saying in Japan, “Nana korobi ya oki”. Meaning “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Give your best shot to every challenge faced. Broaden your mindset on solving issues around you. At times just trying in situations is not helpful. That little extra effort can turn the table.
When a child is learning to walk parents encourage the child to step forward. Likewise, when the child is doubtful of self-worth and abilities gives them the push to feel better and try harder. The key is changing the mindset from “I failed” to “Let me try one more time”.
As a parent when we communicate the same with children respectfully, no bashing, they strive for enhancement. The empathetic connection between parent-child is vital here.
Hansei – Self-Reflections
Reflections can be related to spirituality here. It is seen people who do practice spirituality have an inner strength. Teaching children gratitude and empathy brings them closer to self. Japanese schoolchildren are taught from kindergarten how to perform hansei, and it is a vital part of learning and improving. Hansei is an art of self-reflection, accepting their own flaws and working on scopes of improvement.
According to research resilience can be consciously learned and taught to children with care, opportunity to learn, proper nutrition and support from family and community. Children with healthy attachment relationships and resources are well equipped to face challenges in life.
What are your thoughts on raising a resilient generation?