Teaching Your Kids Resilience

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Marriage and Family

Resilience isn’t something that some of us are born with and others will never have. It’s an important life skill that can be learned at any point, even in adulthood. Although people can learn to be resilient later in life, it’s worth instilling it into your children now to help them deal with any setbacks they’re faced with as they grow up.  

Resilience means bouncing back and not allowing the little things to distract you from reaching your goals. It will come in handy when your child loses a soccer game or when they get a bad grade on a test. Kids (and adults) fail every now and then … and they need resilience to get up, dust themselves off, and keep going. It’s a hard skill to teach, but we’ve got some tips to get you headed in the right direction.  

Let them fail.

A teacher wrote an article talking about the difference she’s seen between kids whose parents have allowed them to fail and kids whose parents have tried to fix everything for them. Year after year, what she found was that the students who are the happiest and most successful are the ones who were allowed to fail, held responsible for missteps, and challenged to be the best people they could be.  

All parents want their children to be happy and successful … that’s never a bad thing. But in doing so, make sure they don’t miss out on of the most important lessons they can learn throughout childhood: Not everything is going to go their way. Allowing them to make and fix their own mistakes is the only way they’ll grow. 

Remember the 7 C’s.

Kenneth Ginsburg is a pediatrician who specializes in building resilience in children. He created the 7 C’s for teaching it in a way that works for both kids and adults: 

  1. Competence: Encouraging kids to focus on their strengths while striving to learn new things.
  2. Confidence: Let kids know it’s okay to believe and trust in themselves.
  3. Connection: Give them opportunities to connect with family and make new friends.
  4. Character: Teach children right from wrong.
  5. Contribution: Make sure your kids know the importance of giving back and serving others.
  6. Coping: Model problem-solving skills (find tips on how to do this, here) and show them how to take care of themselves.
  7. Control: Teach them to make their own decisions so they learn to be responsible for their actions.

Yes, it’s a lot of information to teach and a lot for your child to take in. You won’t be able to teach them all of this in a day or even a week. Building resilience takes trial and error along with real-world experiences in order to truly stick. Give yourself (and your child) time.  

Model resilience.

If you’re not bouncing back after your own setbacks, how could you ever expect them to do the same with theirs? Children are observational learners, meaning they learn things best from the people they’re surrounded by. It’s crucial that you model the behavior you’d like them to follow … because they will.   

If you’re reading this and just now discovering that your own resilience could use a little bit of work, don’t panic. It’s never too late to improve in this area! This article has some great tips that might be helpful for you! 

Resilience is one of those things that a person just needs to thrive throughout their lives. It gets us out of that “poor me” mentality and pushes us to work hard to achieve our goals. Sharing this concept with your kids while they’re young is the best way to ensure they keep it with them throughout their lives. 

Being able to teach your kids valuable life lessons starts with establishing a good marriage. Read our post on what it means to marry your best friend.