Resilience enables children to cope with, and bounce back from, obstacles that occur. It’s all about
having a toolkit readily available to overcome these challenges more easily and effectively. There are
many aspects which contribute to building resilience, from relationships, personality, environment –
and even genetics. Ultimately, we cannot prevent stressful events from occurring, however we can
prepare children to adapt and navigate change more easily. We are going to share some of our top
tips on how children can become more resilient, and also techniques that parents can implement to
Nurturing a growth mindset is a great place to start with improving resilience. A growth mindset fosters
motivation and persistence, as well as a willingness to embrace challenge and interpret failure as an
opportunity to grow. Developing a growth mindset may be something that children require some
support with, especially if they naturally tend towards having a fixed mindset.
There are a few ways in which parents can support children to adopt this approach and outlook on
life. Praise and pay attention to your child’s effort if they have worked hard at something, even if it
doesn’t result in the desired outcome. Give your child permission to fail, and frame it as an opportunity
to learn and grow. This will enable them to foster problem-solving, creativity and perseverance, rather
than shying away from challenge in future. Keep the big picture in mind and remind your child that
life, both personal and academic, will have obstacles, but also plenty of exciting opportunities.
Mindfulness represents a significant part of resilience, due to its ability to calm and control reactions.
It’s a great idea to introduce mindfulness to your child’s daily routine. Apps and podcasts, such as
Calm and Headspace have developed extensive resources for children including positivity, kindness
and being calm. Keeping a mindfulness journal is also a good way to improve understanding around
emotions. For example, making a note of what happened during the day and how that made you feel.
Exercise is also really important to manage stress, for example taking a mindful walk, or online yoga
course to practise meditation and breathing exercises in a fun and interactive way.
Communication is closely linked to mindfulness and understanding your emotions. Encourage your
child express how they are feeling and also to be able to label their emotions. This will allow you to
introduce appropriate strategies to use when they experience these feelings. Asking for help is also
another important aspect of communication. Knowing who, and how to ask for help when something
is beyond your child’s comfort zone is a really positive step. This will teach them strategies that they
are able to implement for themselves in future.
Help to reframe negative thinking
Difficult situations can be made worse by negative thought patterns, making it seem like these
obstacles are in fact harder to overcome than they are. Using techniques which foster positive thinking,
such as, a gratitude jar or positive affirmations, may help to reframe negativity. Ultimately, this will help
your child to feel more confident and capable in tackling their challenges.
Problem-solving and critical thinking skills will help to boost resilience. Encourage your child to
consider a problem, possible solutions and the pros and cons of each. To begin with, they may require
some guidance on formulating a well-rounded argument in order to reach the optimal outcome. By
challenging and discussing your child’s ideas, this will also nurture their ability to think creatively,
critically and outside of the box.
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