4 Steps to a More Resilient Child
As parents, we encourage our kids to dream….to reach for the stars and to reach their full potential. Many parents judge their success as a parent by what their kids accomplish when they become adults. How do we raise our kids to want more and to be more, and at the same time help them to learn a healthy sense of caution when it comes to achieving their dreams?
Life comes with disappointment. It is unpredictable and will throw kids unimaginably difficult and sometimes devastating curve balls. Luck will not always be on their side and their talents and gifts will not always get them to their goal. Life simply isn’t that fair.
There are ways we can help our kids cope with the unpredictable nature of the world around them. Its a shift from raising kids with a focus on achieving dreams, goals and potential to a real emphasis on resilience. Nurturing this skill is a critical factor to protecting them from possible devastation when life simply does not always work out as we hope.
A resilient child, and someday, adult will still be able to reach for the stars and work toward their goals, but they may be a little more prepared should the unexpected happen. Parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba says that raising a resilient child is crucial for life long success. There is no set formula that can guarantee our kids will achieve their potential, but we can effectively prepare them for the bumps, big or small, along the road. The key is in building strong self-esteem and a sense of identity.
Here are 4 tips from Dr. Michele Borba to strengthening resiliency in our kids.
1. Nurture your child’s nature. Find a way to help your child see the wonder in herself. Take time to really think about your child’s strengths. During the next few days list them. Keep an ongoing profile of each of her children’s strengths. The journal will bed one a treasured keepsake.
2. Praise a child’s qualities, not actions. The inside contains traits you can’t photograph. These are qualities that last a lifetime such as spiritual values and a kind heart. Choose one or two attributes you want your child to recognize about himself right away. Let your child know how proud you are of them for possessing these strengths.
3. Teach your child bounce-back skills It is important to succeed and fail. Everybody makes mistakes. A child with low self-esteem sees himself as a failure while a child with high self-esteem sees the event as a failure. Help your child view experiences and not themselves as positive or negative.
4. Teach positive self-talk Help your child learn a positive phrase about themself. When they call themselves stupid or dumb for losing a game, help them learn another way to cope. “I’m doing the best I can,” is a much better alternative.
Through the powers of resiliency they will reach for the sky and not be devastated when they find their feet still squarely planted on the ground.
Anne Leedom is the Founder of www.parentingbookmark.com and www.netconnectpublicity.com. She lives in Northern California with her two daughters.