Resilient Kids Come From Parents Who Do These 8 Things

Letting your kids fail and talking to them about it goes a long way.

By Lizzy Francis

When you’re a kid, everything is a tragedy. Your grilled cheese has the crust on? The horror. Can’t assemble that Lego set? Might as well stomp up and down. You can’t change this. What you can do, however, is arm your kid with the techniques that teach them how to bounce back from their daily struggles so that, later on in life, when the stakes are higher, they know what to do. Because resilience is a behavior learned through explicit lessons and examples, one that teaches kids how to, among other things, better handle stress, understand that rejection is not a comment on their entire existence, and view setbacks as things that don’t need to sideline them for good. But how, exactly, should you teach this lesson? According to Amy Morin, LCSW, a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, here are eight common practices of parents who raise resilient kids. 

They Let The Kids Struggle
“All kids have the ability to develop skills that will help them be resilient,” says Morin. “As parents, it’s up to us to give them those skills, and to serve as a guide — to help them when they’re struggling with something and give them more opportunities to practice resiliency.”

The worst thing parents can do, says Morin, is rescue their kids too much. Such actions prevent kids from learning how to act on their own. In other words, the parents who teach their kids that hard work is a necessary part of life, and sometimes that hard work is really hard are the ones who raise well-adjusted kids.

They Let Their Kids Experience Rejection
For myriad reasons, it’s essential for kids to learn how to handle being told no. “If your kid doesn’t get picked for the baseball team, it can be tempting to call the coach, call the schools, try to get your kid on the team,” says Morin. “But failure can be one of the best opportunities to teach kids a life lesson. That lesson: Failure is not the end of the road, you’re strong enough to handle failing, and that when you fail, you have choices.”

They Don’t Condone a Victim Mentality
“When kids say they are having a problem, it’s tempting for them to blame other people,” says Morin. “They fail their science test and they say that their teacher didn’t explain it well enough.” It can be tempting for parents to give into this behavior and side with their children. But even if their teacher is bad or didn’t explain something, that instinct is dangerous. “Parents need to tell their kids that life isn’t fair but that they are strong enough to handle the unfairness,” says Morin. “And I think for a lot of parents, our tendency is to make things fair: to advocate for our kids, to side with them, just reinforces to them that they’re the victim. It leads to learned helplessness.” Fight this instinct at all costs.

They Do More Than Tell Them to ‘Buck Up’ When Struggles Occur
Letting kids struggle is important, but telling them to just deal with it, or ignoring that it could be tough emotionally is not the right way to go about it. “You want to make sure that you validate their emotions and you empathize with them,” says Morin. “Parents can find that balance of knowing when to step back enough to let their child face some of their own battles, but at the same time, empathize.” Talking to your kids about...(click here to continue reading)



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published