By Fiona Clark, Founder Of Inspired Mums
As my children get older it becomes even clearer to me just how important it is for them to be able to cope with whatever life throws at them – whether it’s disappointment on the sporting field, difficulties with friendships or academic setbacks. Thankfully, an increasing number of schools are recognising that this ability to bounceback from adversity is a key part of a child’s education and are introducing curriculum initiatives to help young people develop their resilience. But what can we as parents do at home to help our children have bouncebackability?
As a career and confidence coach who has helped hundreds of people overcome obstacles in their path, here are my top tips to help you raise resilient kids:
Talk about your emotions
It’s vital to let your children know that it’s ok to feel sad, frustrated and angry. Try to encourage them to talk about how they are feeling so they don’t bottle up these emotions. It may sound like a cliché but a problem shared really is a problem halved, so be patient and listen carefully to what your child has to say. Don’t try to talk them out of their emotions too quickly by saying “cheer up” or “it’s not that bad,” as this can be counter-productive and stop them confiding in you.
Work together to find a solution
The next step is to move the conversation on in a positive direction by helping your kids learn how to problem solve. This doesn’t mean giving them the answers to their problem – instead ask questions such as “what could you do about that?” and “what else?” several times to keep the ideas flowing. I once used this coaching technique with my son when he was just 9 years old and wanted to talk about how to manage his anxiety and I was amazed at how many great ideas he came up with.
Don’t take things personally
A powerful way to boost your child’s resilience is to remind them not to take things personally as this can erode their confidence and self-belief in the long term. Instead encourage them to see setbacks as a situation that needs working through rather than something they have done wrong.
View knock-backs as a learning opportunity
Develop your child’s bouncebackability by helping them to see knock-backs in life as an opportunity to learn rather than a failure. Remind your child that no-one gets everything right all of the time. I recently heard a maths teacher say “you aren’t learning anything if you are getting all the questions right” and that’s the mind frame you need to encourage in your son or daughter. So take the time to ask your child “what have you learnt from that?” or “What would you do differently next time?”
Have a glass-half full attitude
Optimism is contagious so try to adopt a positive outlook in your home. Actively choose to stop worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet. Instead focus on all the positives in your life – this will help your family keep a sense of perspective and balance.
When times are tough, it can be easy for your child to become despondent and down. So make plans to get out the house and have some fun – whether it’s playing football, going to the cinema or meeting up with their friends. This will immediately lift their mood, making it easier for them to take the positives from the situation.
Be a good role model
Finally, as a parent it’s essential that we remember the importance of role modeling the right behaviour – children learn more from us about how we react to situations than anything else, so re-read this blog and see what steps you can take to develop your own resilience!
If you need help developing your child’s resilience or want to boost your own bouncebackability, contact Fiona on 07789597209 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE 30 minute 1-2-1 consultation.