Resilient kids feel like they are valued and have something to offer. Therefore, create opportunities for them to contribute to the family, school, and community.
At home, you can assign specific tasks that build on their skills and interests. Let them help out with important things without criticism, like decorating the tree or making the family reunion dessert. My girls are always wanting to help fix things around the home, so we let them. Yes, it might not be as good as we do it, but the experience they get out of these opportunities are more important (and we connect in the meantime).
In the classroom, having a special job they can do or being a mentor to a younger child are all examples of things kids can do to contribute and feel valued.
In the community, helping neighbours is always beneficial. Volunteering is also a great way to contribute. Even doing random nice things can make kids feel they are contributing.
This past Christmas my husband and I talked with our girls about how there were some people who had to work Christmas Day to ensure we were safe and had a good holiday, such as the police and fire fighters. We decided to take some time out of our day to show our appreciation for their service by dropping off some baking to various stations around town. It was wonderful to see their appreciation (and quite amusing how 20 of them would rush to the door to see who was there). The best part was seeing how excited my girls were to make someone’s day a little brighter (they were more excited doing this than opening presents). They were so disappointed when we ran out of baking, wanting to keep going. They saw how they were contributing and making a difference on such an important day to such important people, even with one small gesture.
No matter how big or small, if your kids feel they have something valuable to offer, they are building resilience.
Move to #14: Have a family meeting