Adulthood is filled with grave responsibilities and problems, from monthly bills and money management to work-life balance and family issues, it can seem like a severe soup. But that’s not to say that childhood is a cakewalk in comparison. We often believe that kids have it easy, all they have to do is play and study but that’s not it. Kids take exams, they learn new information and life skills, they endure bullying, they experience the anxiety of making friends, breaking friendships, and they occasionally end up being hurt by people close to them, sometimes by parents themselves.
This is the reason why teaching children resilience at a younger age is extremely important. Resilience is the ability to recover and bounce back from challenges and setbacks. Resilient people rebound from problems and trauma with a healthier and stronger mindset. They face fresher issues with a problem-solving train of thought with good solutions. Not to say that resilience is a trampoline that can help them bounce up in no time. It’s a long journey climbing to the top and they’ll face several setbacks along the way. But when they’ve reached the top and look back at how far they’ve come, they’ll find themselves ready to figure out how to handle what is thrown at them with a stronger sense of confidence. The best part is resilience can be taught. Parents can equip their kids with techniques and skills to handle adversity and survive, adapt and grow in the face of hardship. So, how can one strengthen their inner and outer strengths that promote resilience? We’ve listed 5 practices that can nurture your child’s portfolio of protective factors of resilience.
Help your child find a purpose
Purpose comes from believing that the world needs improving and you can be a part of something bigger. It’s been proven that children who are motivated to succeed end up doing so because they’re aligned with their core purpose. Helping your child develop grit by discussing their goals and values can help them identify with their purpose in life. If your child is younger, try encouraging them to create a dream or vision board. This powerful visualization tool can help your kid identify their goals and work towards them.
Teach your child to meditate
Considering meditation as just a relaxation technique highly underestimates its value as there are several more benefits of meditation when used in more dynamic ways. Stress reduction through meditation can vastly improve resilience. ThinkRight.me’s newest offering for kids includes an array of meditations for children by our world-renowned expert masters. These meditations are created to lower stress levels, improve moods, better memory, and concentration, and inculcate a stronger immune system along with improving emotional and mental health. Teaching your child the art of mindfulness can help them pay attention, on purpose, with kindness.
Ask, “What’s the hard part?”
Whenever your child feels discouraged over a particular situation, ask them, “What’s the hard part?” This will help them identify the difficulties and challenges they face, allowing them to break them down into manageable tasks. Once this is done, ask your child how they’d like to overcome the hard part. Problem-solving skills can be taught by letting your child arrive at a suitable answer and realizing that problems can be solved through perseverance.
Yoga to boost emotional resilience
As kids, we experience an array of difficult emotions that need navigation. And it’s the parent’s responsibility to guide children to manage these emotions to help them meet challenges with a calm, level head. Practicing asanas can teach kids to distinguish between pain and discomfort in a posture, something that isn’t just physical but also a way to understand their emotional limits. ThinkRight.me’s Yoga section for kids features various Yoga practices for children to understand their body as well as their mind better. Breathing and relaxation techniques can help them find their center amidst stressful situations, quieting the mind and calming the body.
Teach about grit through stories
We all can learn lessons of perseverance through works of literature. Exposing children to stories with characters that tackle difficult challenges is a great way to help them understand resilience. Parents can work to build capability, independence and strength through various narratives. The sleep stories for kids on ThinkRight.me serve as a wonderful way to teach kids to be capable and adaptable adults, with high emotional intelligence who are attuned to caring for their own wellbeing. In fact, one of the best ways to improve resilience is to improve sleep quality and what better way to do so than through sleep meditation.
Having inner resources to give meaning to our lives helps us grow through life’s challenges. While it’s an extremely important skill for all to learn, parents can teach this to their children at a malleable age to help them develop into well-rounded adults. Such small actions can build your child’s resilience portfolio phenomenally, investing in their inner strengths and outer resources.
Dr. Deepali Kampani is a digital content specialist who weaves health and food through her pen.