There’s no doubt that we all want to raise a resilient child who bounces back after they fail.
But how do we do that?
We recently chatted with former counselor turned stay-at-home mom Lauren Jones Jumrukovski of They Say Parenting. This Instagram Influencer pointed out that resiliency isn’t something we’re born with, necessarily, but that it’s something that children learn. She explained three steps for teaching resiliency in your own kids.
View this post on Instagram
When We Fail, Don’t Give Up
You can look at situations in one or two ways: as failures or as opportunities to learn and do things differently.
Lauren uses the example of her child knocking over a block tower and feeling disappointed. She explains that she showed her daughter that she could rebuild the tower and do it differently, learning and growing.
You can do this with kids of all ages (or with yourself even).
My friend’s 22-year-old daughter recently found out that she didn’t get into the grad school she applied to. Her mom explained that failure (i.e. not getting in that school) was just part of the process, and suggested she look at what she could do differently to set herself apart during the application process.
Don’t Let Mistakes Define You… Learn & Grow
Our kids will fail on many occasions during their lives. But it’s through failures that we have our greatest opportunities for learning.
When something doesn’t go well for your child or they fail, let them know that it’s okay! They are NOT defined by their accomplishments.
And it’s okay to feel angry or sad or upset. Let yourself feel that emotion and then move FORWARD.
Ask, what could they have done differently that could have changed the outcome? What did they learn from the experience?
Learning from failures is a lifelong process and make sure they know that it’s just part of the journey. It’s even a good idea to talk about your own winding journey and the failures that YOU have had along the way.
Teach the Skills to Cope
As Lauren explains, failure is just a part of life, so it’s important that kids learn coping skills that they can use throughout their lives.
Talk about and demonstrate the importance of self-care. Let your kids see YOU taking time for yourself and putting your own mental health first.
When kids are sad, even about small things, we can teach them to use their words to talk about how they feel. Also, teach them to talk about their feelings and start practicing open communication. (You may want to even implement a communication journal if your kids are old enough to write.)
Some other strategies that Lauren suggests are:
- Counting to 10
- Squeezing a stress ball
- Turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts (“I will feel better, it will just take time”)
- Participating in an activity you enjoy that makes you feel better
Final Thoughts On How to Raise a Resilient Child Who Bounces Back
Failure is a part of life and it’s actually a really important part. If we aren’t failing, chances are we aren’t putting ourselves out there enough or taking enough risks.
Fortunately, resiliency is something that is TAUGHT. Some ways you can do this are teaching your kids that:
- When we fail, we don’t give up
- Failure doesn’t define you, you use it to learn and grow
- You need to have a toolbox of coping skills
Do you have any other strategies for teaching resiliency to kids? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!