You cannot protect your child from tough times. Adversity is part of life and is actually vital for maintaining the yin-yang balance which enables us to fully appreciate happy times in contrast. You can, however, promote a resilient attitude within your child, helping them soldier on when things don’t go to plan and take setbacks in their stride. If you want to raise kids capable of weathering any storm life sends their way, take a look at the following advice from a prestigious boys’ school in London.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE STRUGGLE
Resilience is not about ignoring difficult feelings and just getting on with it, an important part of developing resilience is learning to accept when things are hard. Being able to reflect on previous adversities can show children they are capable of getting through tough times. When your child is going through something, encourage them to talk about their feelings and their concerns, so they can begin to process the situation they are in. Remind them they have overcome things in the past and they are capable of doing it again.
ESTABLISH GRATITUDE PRACTICES
Encouraging your children to practice mindfulness and gratitude can be a game-changer when it comes to dealing with adversity. If they already have a baseline positive outlook, they will be able to overcome hardship much more easily, as they will be programmed to seek out the silver lining and focus on the things that are going well. A simple gratitude exercise to try with your kids is to have them list 3 things each morning they are looking forward to that day and then in the evening list 3 positive things that happened.
UNCOVER TEACHABLE MOMENTS
Help your child reframe their failures by taking time to reflect on what happened and what they could have done differently. It is all too easy to point fingers at others or wallow in self-pity when things don’t go our way, but there is no benefit in doing this. Help your child develop an attitude of ‘never a failure, always a lesson to help them unearth the value in setbacks. Through reflection, they will be able to better understand their capabilities, limitations, and areas for improvement.