Sponsored by Australian Scholarships Group
Resilience. One of the most important lifelong skills that you can ever possess. It is on my mind a lot these days, for a number of reasons.
At work, I’m assisting in the roll-out of an office-wide resilience program to assist staff better cope with change. It’s paramount to all organisations to cultivate a resilient, agile and flexible workforce. Change is everywhere, things don’t always go your way and decisions are not always right. You need to be able to come back from that and just get on with things.
Recognising that a specific course is required to impart these skills also highlights that many adults still haven’t mastered the ability to bounce back from disappointment, take risks and make confident decisions. All qualities that are so necessary in today’s stressful and demanding world.
With this in mind, I’m thankful that at school, one of the five keys to success is resilience, along with confidence, persistence, getting along and organisation. Resilience is acknowledged as consistently making the right choices, keeping your cool and staying positive. I was beyond proud last year when both my school aged children received awards for resilience. It was recognition of the amazing progress they had made in starting to overcome their fears and remaining upbeat in the face of them.
At home, we have always tried our best to instil resilience in our kids. This is even more important when you have kids with special needs. In the face of difference, disability and potential bullying, building resilience from a young age has been one of our top priorities to give them the tools they need to navigate life.
I liken it to taking out an insurance policy – investing in building self-esteem, developing confidence, creating a positive outlook, encouraging effective problem solving techniques and teaching how to make the right choice can yield huge dividends later on.
So how do you actually go about building resilience in your children? Here are a few simple ways to start:
- Model resilient behaviour. When things don’t go your way, take a different approach. Don’t give up or get upset or lose hope. Show your kids what being resilient actually means.
- Praise effort. Being positive and recognising effort goes a long way to building healthy self-esteem and confidence in your kids. Show them that it matters that they keep trying, even if the first attempt is not a success.
- Help teach them to cope with disappointment. Life doesn’t always deliver on its promises. Helping kids appropriately handle disappointment in all its forms will go a long way to develop their natural resilience.
- Give them the chance to try and fail. It’s important that kids take risks and understand the consequences of their decisions. These situations can be used to identify what went wrong and to encourage them to try again.
- Get them involved in the home from an early age. Give them individual responsibilities and tasks to look after. Encourage them to be accountable and give them the chance to practice solving any problems that may arise.
From lifelong personal experience, resilience DOES matter. It really is important to make an effort to help your kids to develop resilience skills from an early age.
And, possibly even more importantly, it’s vital that we as adults develop and model these skills too.
What tips do you have for building resilience in your kids?
Australian Scholarships Group is a not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider. Australian Scholarships Group has supported over 300,000 families offset the cost of education. But now Australian Scholarship Group is moving towards offering more than just education funds and has a wide range of resources, online tools and guides to support parents and nurture children in their educational journey to reach their full potential. Visit www.asg.com.au to discover member benefits or call 1800 648 945. More articles regarding education issues, development, family members and parenting available on www.asg.com.au/resources.
Disclaimer – I received monetary compensation in return for this post however the experiences and views shared are my own.
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I love this post. You have some excellent ideas for building resilience in children, thank you. xx
Thanks Nicole. It is very much a topic close to my heart!
Great tips. It’s an amazingly powerful tool to have in your arsenal…
It is Lydia and sometimes, sadly underestimated!
And well done you on the sponsored post!
Thanks Lydia – as it is a topic I am very interested in it wasn’t that hard to write. Hoping that any future sponsored posts fit in as well as this one did!
Love this. Resilience comes from experience, I know this from experience!
As do I Ann!
A great post Kirsty. I’ve always thought that resilience and empathy are the two key things I’d like to instil in our kids. Our daughter did a ‘You can do it’ program from preschool and this emphasised resilience too.
That sounds like a great program Kathy. I really believe that resilience needs to be instilled from an early age so it can be practiced as you grow with life and all it throws at you x
Great tips. I agree resilience is one of the most important life skills and it is great to see it a focus in schools these days, but with everything, it starts at home.
That is so true Jodi. I really think it is valuable for kids to be able to see resilience as a part of everyday life, as modelled by their parents and other adults. So very valuable x
A great post, I wrote a similar one today too. Resilience truly is the key to helping our kids face this ever changing world.
I will have to check your post out Eleise. I found it very easy to write about something that I feel personally passionate about. More and more it is becoming clear to me that resilience is an essential skill for life – it’s definitely a priority for our family!
I have been with ASG since Mr4 was born.
The tips on resilience are great. At one stage I wanted to study the topic and base my blog on this. My health prevented it, but I still can’t get enough information on the subject.
It really is a fascinating topic. I see how important it is every day at work so I’m determined to give my kids the best possible start and instil resilience in them from an early age so they can deal with life later on.
I think I’ve subconsciously been instilling resilience in my 6 month old. Everytime she tries a new thing and inadvertently fails because she hasn’t got the skills yet, I automatically come out with “good trying bubba” or “its ok you can’ sit yet, but good girl for trying”. When she has tantrums like screaming in the car I am already saying “I know you want the car to go bub, but its a red light so we can’t go yet, we just have to wait”. Probably is completely pointless at the moment though 🙂
It’s never pointless Toni – I think that’s a fabulous habit to get into early on so she does have those skills as she grows and develops. Good on you!
This is definitely something I think about with my boys. My nine year old in particular seems to let little things upset him and often has a negative attitude. We’re constantly trying to encourage resilience. Thanks for the tips.
It’s not easy but hopefully you will get there. I have the same struggle with Matilda who really does get upset very easily. It’s a slow road but I’m hoping we’ll get there too!
Great post, resilience is so, so important. In fact, when it comes to all the PTSD therapy we’re doing with Mercedes, the number one key objective is to build her resilience and help her cope with the challenges she faces better.
Love this, sharing this…
I wish you guys all the best with that Emma and thanks so much for the share!
Great post Kirsty.
It really is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children isn’t it?
Thanks Jess – I completely agree!
I loved reading this post today Kirsty. I also like your tips and will incorporate them with my kids. My Esther would always get angry if she couldn’t do something right the first time and I found praising her and encouraging her to practice helped with her deal with her disappointment.
It really is all about turning the negative into a positive – sounds like you’re all over it Bec!
Teaching kids resilience is so tricky, I worry that some things I say will be taken to heart when they were said lightly. However, I’m BIG on trying to build up their self esteem as this wasn’t done to me when I was a child x
I definitely believe in building up self-esteem. It really is the basis for healthy body image and developing the confidence needed to bounce back from disappointment x
Resilience is so important and I know from personal experience that it is harder to learn as an adult. It’s great that schools are beginning to teach it too.
It is very difficult to learn as an adult. That’s why I think it’s great that my workplace is willing to invest in developing these skills in staff x
I was watching something a while ago and it quoted some research that a child’s ‘aptitude’ for resilience will be develop by the time they reach 5 years of age. This is pretty phenomenal and means we parents have to really take this into consideration when we model our reactions to different situations.
Its very interesting (from a purely intellectual point of view) to see grown adults who have not developed that resilience and to witness a meltdown to a situation – particularly one of change – that other people adapt to easily. Great post.
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Thanks Chantel. I hadn’t heard about aptitude for resilience being developed by the age of 5 – that is quite daunting, isn’t it?
Growing up with a bipolar mother definitely made me resilient, but it was in spite of my home life, not because of it. It’s interesting how similar situations will effect different people.
I think certain personalities are more naturally resilient than others – in a similar situation another person may not have developed that same resilience. It is definitely a fascinating topic.
This is reality, isn’t it Kirsty? I think resilience is something that we absolutely have to teach our kids, along with compassion.
To me it’s a bit of a balance, be tough enough to make it through, but consider others along the way.
Great work on your sponsored post too Kirsty, I love your approach. xx
Thanks Lisa! I really like your idea of balance – there has to be the toughness but also the compassion to provide that balance. Fingers crossed we are all doing the right thing when it comes to raising our kids x
I love this post Kirsty and you are so right! I worry about kids these days amd the lack of resilience I often see. So many kids expect (and often get) exactly what they want amd don’t know how to accept failure or critique.. I love love love your tips!!!