Make it Personal
To make resilience personal, use everyday examples of how they have already started to build resilience, such as learning to ride a bike. Kids have lived through experiences where, even if they fell off their bike, they got back on and learned to ride. And now, riding a bike is easy! Use other examples in a child’s life. Learning to skate or to read. These things were hard initially, but with practice, encouragement, and persistence, they are now a piece of cake.
Use other examples in a child’s life; there are likely lots of examples to draw from. Learning to skate or to read. These things were hard initially, but with practice, encouragement, and persistence, they are now a piece of cake.
Perhaps your kids coped with a stressful situation well, such as adjusting to a new school. Or responded nicely to their sibling when they otherwise would have freaked out. Or went up to asked another child to play and made a new friend. Perhaps they were scared to go on stage but got up there and rocked it. Or, even though writing is hard, they sat down and wrote a paragraph.
Look for all types of things your child has done that were hard, big or small. Have your kids talk about the challenge they faced and how they managed it. Ask them how they were able to manage it. And what they learned. How they got better or stronger. Discuss what might have happened had they avoided the challenge.
To reinforce the point that asking for help is a big part of becoming resilient, ask your kids who was there to help them and how they helped. For example, when they learned to ride their bike, there might have been a parent holding the bike steady as they got started. Cheering them on as they got going. Wiping away tears if they fell. And offering encouragement as they got back on the bike.
Maybe your kids did something on their own in the moment but had remembered encouraging words their grandpa gave them the week before. Or they have had lots of past support from their loving family, which gave them confidence to try. Even you bringing them to their practices and sitting in the sidelines is a source of support.
There is always someone there, even in the shadows, who helped guide them. Highlight those people and how they helped. And, if your kids are engaged, you may even want to discuss what might have happened had they not gotten the help. If someone wasn’t there to pay for their lessons or bring them to practice.
Move on to #3: Future Resilience