In such a volatile time in human history, when important things like kindness and compassion and resilience have been overshadowed by news flooded with disease, political uncertainty, and civil unrest, parents are challenged every day to find ways to instill those values in our kids so they can pay them forward as they become the adults. Because they’re the ones who are going to steer us into the future. And perhaps no quality is more critical right now than resilience.
It might stun you to know, though, that it takes a surprisingly small amount of regular guidance and consistent reinforcement from us to teach those invaluable qualities to our kids. But thanks to Helpen, it can be done from the comfort of home in only a few short minutes each week. Through conversations right at the family dinner table, Helpen gives parents the tools to empower children to learn, give, and understand the positive impact of actions rooted in kindness.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been through a ton in the last year and a half. And every single one of us, including our kids, has faced some kind of loss or disappointment or drastic change to our way of life. People have lost jobs; kids have had to adapt to a life of virtual school; and we’ve all been separated from people we love. So, there’s never been a better time than right now to teach our kids resilience. And the most effective way to teach our kids how to navigate challenges is to give them the chance to experience what it’s like to struggle for themselves. That’s why we need to give our kids the bandwidth to fail and fall and make mistakes. Because without those critical opportunities to feel disappointment or rejection first-hand, they’ll never be able to pick themselves up when things go sideways and keep moving forward.
The important thing to remember is that resilience can be taught. And it’s our job as parents to equip our kids with the tools they need to be able to handle the tough stuff.
Keeping that in mind, here are six easy ways to start teaching your kids to be resilient even after they’ve left the dinner table:
1. Let your kids fail. Get comfortable on the sidelines and give your kids some room to make mistakes, because it’s only after they’ve failed or been let down that they’ll learn how to persevere and problem-solve on their own.
2. Let your kids take some risks. Giving your kids some age-appropriate freedom will help them to both test and set their own limits.
3. Practice what you preach. Think of how you coped with tough situations in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through tough times and learn from those experiences.
4. Teach your kids to stay positive. You can't change the past, but you can definitely impact the future. Teaching your kids to find the positive in every situation makes it easier to adapt to new challenges with much less anxiety.
5. Take care of your physical self. Take care of your body. Get plenty of sleep. And eat healthy.
6. Encourage your kids to attack the problem. When your kids hit a challenge, give them the skills to figure out what needs to be done, help them make a plan, and then inspire them to take action.
Lisa Sugarman is a parenting author, columnist & radio show host living just north of Boston with her husband and two grown daughters. She writes the nationally syndicated opinion column It Is What It Is and is the author of How to Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids And Be Ok With It, Untying Parent Anxiety, and LIFE: It Is What It Is. Lisa is also the co-host of the weekend talk show LIFE UNfiltered on Northshore 104.9FM, a regular contributor on Healthline Parenthood, Grown And Flown, Thrive Global, Care.com, LittleThings, More Content Now, and Today.com. Visit her at lisasugarman.com.
Sign up for offers, expert parenting tips, and the latest news from Helpen.