Twelve Pointers To Develop Resilient Kids – Kids Who Bounce Back And Confront Challenges Boldly!
While I struggled last week to write on a topic of immense value to my readers, I chanced upon this post talking about the high court’s decision to instruct schools to do away with mathematics as a subject considering it posed challenge. Are we serious to even think on such lines?
WILL IT NOT ROB THEM OF THE ZEAL TO DO THE CHALLENGING STUFF ?
WON’T IT TO MAKING IT ALL SO EASY THAT THEY WOULD LOOSE ALL THE POWER TO PERSEVERE AND ACHIEVE THE TOUGH?
I mean first they wanted to pass all kids till class VIII, then doing away with challenging yet important subjects like maths and God knows what’s next on the list.
Before we get into a debate on how good or bad these decisions are , we need to get the grip on the fact that things / situations like traffic , an exam gone wrong, a project hanging on the head, friendships and the games people play , overall day to day living around us are changing for the bad (Read stressful and chaotic) and it’s a parents duty to foster caring would –be adults in family and community with self regulation skills, positive self concept, motivation, optimism, ownership of their actions and personal control.
Simply put RESILIENCE means “springing back” or “rebounding after stress or adversity”. It will ensure that our kids meet life’s challenges and pressures with elan and perseverance and prepare for success in all areas of their future life.
TWELVE SIMPLE SUTRAS TO EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY RESILIENT KIDS:
- COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY AND LISTEN ACTIVELY: Parents need to listen with undivided attention and validate what their kids are saying, even if they do not agree with their views.
- BELIEVE IN THEIR WORTH: Parents must make their kids feel special and appreciated .Telling them “ I BELIEVE IN YOU ‘is miraculous. to add up to the magic would be family emotional support. If you seriously want resilient kids, our words and actions must convey that none of their questions is silly or irrelevant.
- BEING ACCEPTING: Parents need to accept their kids for their unique temperaments. By accepting children as they are, we set realistic expectations for us and for them too resulting in more satisfying and less tense parent – child relationship
- FOCUSING ON STRENGTHS: Problems faced cannot be denied but a parent’s focus on their strengths rather than over emphasising their weaknesses is a way forward to kids wanting to do a course- correction with least resistance.
- VIEWING MISTAKES AS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES: Responding their mistakes with belittling or demeaning comments is a sure shot way to a lost plot. Help them see an opportunity and experiences to learn and grow there.
- FOSTERING A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY: Compassion and a social conscience by providing opportunities to children to make contributions at home , school or community are plenty these days…CAPITALISE ON THEM J
- MAINTAIN A DAILY ROUTINE AND USE DISCIPLINE: Children should know that they are loved and cared for unconditionally but the realisation that they cannot get away with whatever they want has to be built in too. Maintaining a balance of giving in and firmness is suggested. However using discipline to intimidate or humiliate will spoil it all for you.
- STICKING TO A ROUTINE: has been found to be comforting to children especially young kids who crave structure in their lives. Encourage them and guide as needed to have his or her own routines.
- GIVE THEM CHOICES: Help them by modelling problem solving behaviour by allowing them to experience success or failure resulting from, their choices within a supportive framework. Choosing and following up with their choices gives them deeper insights into their decisions while they are learning to be responsible under your able hand holding.
- RESILIENCE IN YOUR PARENTING PERSONA: Problem solving and decision making are two important components of Resilience. Showcase the two often in your parenting in a regular day and let it help your children use as a guiding light to a sense of control in their own lives.
- MOVE TOWARDS GOALS: Teach children to make reasonable goals and move towards getting them in a step at a time. Inculcate a sense of achievement by acknowledging every small step towards achieving their goals…remember “what you appreciate appreciates”-completed goals or the pending half??
- ACCEPT THAT CHANGE IS THE WAY OF LIFE BUT ONE HAS TO MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE AND BE HOPEFUL: Change has always been scary. Helping them see times when change has actually been good , how changes from one class to another have been a good change and more would be helpful to install a belief that change is part of life and one can cope. A positive and hopeful outlook will support our children to see good things in life to keep coping and going ahead with a smile , even in hardest of times that abound these days.
Take a break, align schedules but do not worry endlessly, Be flexible but start with yourself by:
- Assume responsibility to change,
- Understand the set of problems, goals or decisions you would want to achieve,
- Evaluate what all has been done to achieve the above and why it hasn’t worked out,
- In case you fail, try again, handle your frustration for the sake for raising your RESILIENT bunch!!!