Do your kids give up when faced with a challenge? Do they become upset with small changes? Are they ultra-sensitive to correction? Do they crumble under stress? Do they blame others for their misfortune?
If so, you may want to focus on nurturing “resilience” in your children. Simply put, resiliency is the ability to cope with, adapt to, and overcome challenges. People who are resilient will be able to keep their cool when faced with a problem, setback, or crisis, take personal responsibility for working through it, reach into their support network for assistance and find a way to recover from the setback. They might even learn from the experience and become stronger as a result.
Life will throw your kids all sorts of curve balls and you want to teach your child the skills s/he needs to move through them successfully.
This month in the Raise Great Kids Community we’re focusing on practical steps you can take to build resiliency in your child. Resiliency is not a trait that kids have or don’t have. Resiliency can be taught and developed in anyone.
Dr. Alan Graham, a featured speaker in the Raise Great Kids Community and author of the book, “Lemonade: The Leader’s Guide to Resilience at Work” www.ADDvisor.com shared this strategy with us:
Three Good Things Exercise:
To set up the three good things exercise, first, grab a notebook. At the top write down, “Good Things that Happened Today” and “Why this Good Thing Happened?” Then draw a line down the middle between the two statements.
On a daily basis, sit down with your child (perhaps at bedtime) and ask your child to name three good things that happened that day. You can write them down for the child. Then ask the child why the good thing happened? What part, if any, did the child play in making that good thing happen?
You can take a turn and write down three good things that happened to you, too, and why it happened.
Graham said that the exercise helps develop an appreciation of others, builds self-confidence, and empowers kids by demonstrating that the child plays a part in bringing happiness to their life by daily decisions that s/he makes.
He noted that even when a parent and child are at odds, the exercise can improve the parent-child relationship.
Here are two other strategies for increasing resilience:
Another factor that contributes to building resilience is the ability to set and attain goals. For instance, our oldest daughter would like to investigate the field of occupational therapy. She’d like to shadow several people to learn more about the job. Today, we used a goal-setting sheet and figured out who she can call to set up several shadowing experiences. Then, she wrote down deadlines and phone numbers for calling the people she identified to set up appointments. (If you know of any occupational therapists in the Twin Cities she can shadow, please shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here’s a link to a goal setting sheet you can print for your kids. https://getparentinghelpnow.com/pdf/GoalSettingHandout.pdf
Goal setting can be used to break down big projects like book reports or science projects into manageable pieces, to sharpen athletic skills by identifying exercises that can develop that skill, or how to earn money for something expensive your child wants to buy.
STRONG SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
It’s important that your children have friends but also relationships with other caring adults that they can turn to for help and support. In fact, the Search Institute research shows that optimally, a child should have at least three nonparent adults who care about them and offer encouragement.
Here’s a tool to help your child identify other caring adults.
Do what you can to broaden your child’s support network and nurture those relationships.
FOR MORE STRATEGIES
Join us in the Raise Great Kids Community on Tues., March 25 when Jul Marie Hermosisima, a seasoned coach with over 7,000 + coaching hours (www.jultones.com) shares 5 practical strategies from the field of Positive Psychology to help build resilience in your child.
You can join the Raise Great Kids Community here: http://www.raisegreatkidscommunity.com
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