Raising Resilient children is sort of a buzz word nowadays. While I try not to fully indulge on bandwagon activities, I am here for raising resilient children, especially as we kick off the school year. It's no secret, the school year brings about a mix of emotions for parents. If you have a child that has behavior, physical, emotional, or mental struggles, the school year can fill you with anxiety. We live in a cyber driven ecosystem where it's imperative that our children are THRIVE. They need to be given the tools needed to cope and recover from disappointment. Currently, children struggle immensely with recovering from being let down.
Per, the Resource Prevention Center's Website;
“A recent analysis suggests that suicide-related emergency department visits have risen among U.S. youth. Using national data, researchers found that the number of children and teens visiting the emergency department for suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts doubled between 2007 and 2015. In that period, the average age of youth seen in the emergency department for suicidal ideation or suicide attempts was 13. More than 40 percent of visits were for children between ages 5 and 11. Experts say there are likely multiple factors associated with increased suicide risk among youth, such as academic pressure, cyberbullying, and limited access to mental health care.”
I am not sure about you, but this is tremendously startling! Raising resilient children will be my key focus this school year, because I understand how this can be a gamechanger with their mental health.
Here are a couple ways to jump start the process.
Problem Solving Skills - If you have been coddling your child, it's time to teach them how to exhibit the skills needs to dissect situations. It's time to walk through those situations they may be facing at school, and help them maneuver their way through. Problem solving skills are pertinent outside of math class.
Allow Mistakes To Ensue - This is a difficult one because we are always trying to save our children from themselves. With this, we become the safetynet they EXPECT when mistakes happen. While it's important that we ARE a safetynet, we have to be cognizant of the situations when our kids must endure the remnants of their mistakes. It SUCKS. So, no more dropping off homework that was left in their room or bringing the gym uniform they left in the dryer. Got it!
Check The Emotions - For some reason, we are allowed to display our emotions ANYWAY we feel albeit, threatening to self harm, harm others or become completely emotionally enraged. Emotions are important however, our children are struggling with how to manage them. Letting our children understand that feelings of sadness or disappointment is norma but the way we react must be in a way that is not belligerent, disrespectful or harmful to themselves or others. We must find that balance. Don't be ashamed to include a therapist in on this.
Direct Communication Skills - We are living in a world where our children struggle with interpersonal communication skills because they are accustomed to speaking through screens. We have to encourage our children the basics of communication. How to speak effectively, looking people in the eyes and holding their heads high.
Insertion of Confidence - So much of our children's confidence is wrapped in likes, friends and follows. We have to assure them of their brilliance and speak positive affirmations into them. Children need to be affirmed more than ever. They are looking for validation and it starts at home for sure.
Empathetic Spirit - Because we are operating through screens, the ideas of empathy are nothing more than a sad face emoji or praying hands. Our children need to learn how to be understanding and fully engulfed in what it means. We live in a self serving society and we lack empathy. Being empathetic is a skill that is useful throughout their life.
Be An Ally - As parents we are so quick to point out that index finger and raise everything but praises, when our child has done something that is disappointing. While much of it is warranted, we have to consider how we approach situations when talking to our children about problems. Being a parent and an ally goes hand in hand. Again, they need to feel validated and part of that is knowing someone is in their corner. Be an ally this school year.
Parenting is difficult but if we change our approach we may have better results. This year let's commit to instilling more resilience in our children and less entitlement.