How to Teach Resilience

Being resilient is one of the best skills to have and to teach children. Resilience is the capacity to with stand or to recover quickly from difficulties. Think about how important this skill is for each and everyone of us throughout life, Resilience is a skill and can be practiced until it becomes a habit.

Why is resilience important? Throughout life we all will encounter difficulties and problems, but we must be able to overcome them and not give up or lose ourselves. Being resilient does not mean you do not get angry, sad, scared, hurt, etc. It means that when this happens, you cope with it in healthy ways, and you do not let it destroy you or ruin your life.

In life good things happen and bad things happen, and life is unpredictable.

There are 5 resilience skills:

  1. self-awareness
  2. mindfulness
  3. self-care
  4. positive relationships
  5. purpose

Being resilient will get us through the bad times (illness, accidents, breakups, grief, bullying, job pressure, failures, etc.). Teaching children that failure is a part of life and learning is necessary. Failure is learning! But failure is not giving up. People who are resilient look for ways to resolve or improve the situation. People who are not resilient will complain and stay stuck in the unfairness or why of the difficulty. There are many factors that influence resilience including self- control, optimism, humor, emotional awareness, social support, problem solving, attitude and self-belief. 

     Each time you make it through and heal from a failure, disappointment or trauma you build resiliency. The key is to “grow through it” not to avoid it. Teaching resiliency to kids requires teaching tenderness and toughness. Resilience can help protect you from various mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It is also linked to longevity and greater satisfaction with life. Likewise, a lack of resilience means that you may not handle stress well in difficult situations. So, we can see why teaching kids this very important skill will give them a life time of benefits. 

Martha J. Hollingsworth, LPC

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