Resilience refers to the ability to recover from adversities easily. When a child is resilient, they remain adaptable, curious and brave, no matter how difficult or stressful the circumstances might be.
However, a child’s brain is a small developing wonder that tends to wire to the world around itself. So, parents and carers should create a social and physical environment that gives them ample opportunity to independently thrive.
To help you create the right wiring instructions, here are five practical methods that will help your child overcome stress, anxiety or adversity.
1. Encourage healthy risks
By encouraging your child to take healthy risks, your child can move beyond his or her comfort zone by pushing their limits. Common examples include encouraging them to participate in a new sport (such as swimming, football, or tennis), starting a conversation with other children, or practising a skill (such as reading or writing). If children develop a habit of taking healthy risks, they’re more likely to handle tough challenges and emerge stronger.
2. Avoid fixing it and instead, let them find solutions
Parents often have a natural response to help their children immediately when they find them facing a problem. But, if you want them to bounce back, instead of fixing it, ask them questions and let them come up with the best solutions for the problem by themselves. This promotes critical thinking, and self-confidence as it strengthens their “I can do it myself” mindset.
3. Teach essential mindful exercises
Many mindful exercises like deep breathing or walking can reduce the body’s response to stress. To help encourage mindfulness during these activities, you might ask your child to look at their feet or hands. This will allow them to tune into the present and observe how it relaxes them.
4. Label their emotions
Children may not be fully aware of their spectrum of emotions. To help them make sense of their feelings, try labeling emotions as a way to make them less confusing. For example, you might tell them that it’s perfectly alright to feel sad, anxious, or jealous. Gently asking ‘why’ they might feel this way is also a great way to prompt critical thinking and self-reflection.
5. Encourage them embrace failure
Children who are either afraid or avoid failures often lack resilience. Therefore, let them embrace their failures with an overarching message that this will help them flourish. Afterall, failure is invaluable tool for learning that informs growth. Montessori education aids this, as it is through repetition (and failure) that a child can master the concept or skill within ingenious Montessori learning materials.