Resilience is a psychological trait that allows people adjust to stress, challenges and change in routine calmly, while maintaining focus on their goals. It is a trait that is highly correlated with success in life, as well as happiness. For that reason it is a great skill for your children to develop and practise while young. Here are some techniques you can use to increase resilience if your child is not naturally resilient.
Allow children to fail
While playing board games with children, some parents prefer to let their children win to develop confidence and a sense of mastery. However if children do not get a chance to fail or come last in normal childhood activities, they do not get to practise how to recover from failure and keep trying towards their goals. By practising failure and recovery, your children will build resilience and be more likely to attempt new skills and aim for ambitious targets.
Give your children responsibility
Rather than praising your children for all that they do, give your children household tasks that are a real part of the households chores. Learning to make dinner for the family once a week allows the child to develop a real skill and have the family members rely on them. They also need to be able to plan how to make the meal in order and manage the cooking so the meal is served on time and not burnt or undercooked. They may have to adapt to missing ingredients, distraction and competing priorities. Again, they learn that if they fail they may need devise a new solution including cooking another meal (or negotiating with their parents to order pizza tonight!).
This gives them a sense of responsibility and relieves you of some work, allowing you to spend more time with your child rather than on chores.
Let your children solve their own disputes
Rather than stepping in immediately to solve bickering between your children, give them a chance to solve the problem themselves. Ask them to identify what each person has done to upset the other and what they can do to fix the situation, as well as how they can avoid similar situations in the future. This gives them a chance to practise empathy as well as building their own resilience.
If your child has continuing issues with extreme sensitivity, it is wise to get them in touch with a psychologist like Associated Psychology Services who can help them work through their issues and devise some coping strategies to let them deal with day to day life.
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