There are few things more important than the emotional wellbeing of our kids. But, being a good parent is hard, and getting it right is harder, yet it’s never felt more vital than right now. Before we can think about how to help foster the qualities that will see our children thrive in the face of adversity, it’s necessary to first understand the characteristics of a resilient child.
What Is Resilience?
Resilience is the capacity to cope with and adapt to, stressful and/or distressing situations. Avoidance doesn’t work as a strategy, because difficult life events are inevitable at some point; therefore it’s critical that we’re adequately equipped to face and overcome trauma.
Without the ability to ‘bounce back’ from hardship, we’re more likely to encounter problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression. So, setting the foundations early on is clearly a fundamental aspect of emotional wellbeing, both now and throughout life.
Characteristics of a Resilient Child
Resilience equates to emotional strength, and the following qualities are ones which are often seen in resilient children:
- Confidence to work autonomously and demonstrates initiative,
- Competent at problem solving,
- Capable of assertive behaviour in appropriate circumstances,
- Responsible and trustworthy,
- Genuine interest in learning,
- Understands and applies same to set and attain realistic goals,
- Displays a sense of purpose and a positive attitude,
- And, crucially – asks for support when needed.
How to Raise a Resilient Child
Factors influencing the development of this critical quality in our kids include innate disposition and parenting techniques. The trait will be naturally stronger in some children, while others may require some guidance. The good news is that resilience is a skill which can be learned and built on, and as parents we play a key role in fostering and nurturing resilience.
According to Psychology Today, “We have the capacity, within ourselves, to create better health.” There are three key components of support promoting psychological resilience:
- Internal: Abilities and skills such as communication, problem-solving, behavioural and emotional regulation, hope, and a positive view of oneself.
- External: Caring supportive relationships with friends, family, neighbours, etc.
- Existential: Cultural values and belief systems.
Clearly this is framework we automatically put in place for our children, but we can actively seek to improve those foundations too.
A Learning Curve
Several months ago we went through a very difficult phase with Pixie, and I was at a total loss as to how to help our daughter. Out of desperation, I turned to the thing that has positively influenced my own mental health over the last few years.
And it worked.
Journaling For Improved Mental Health
Journaling has incredible psychological health benefits, and I say this based on both research and personal experience.
And it’s no different for our children.
In fact, there are added benefits for them in terms of practicing new reading and writing skills, and becoming emotionally intelligent from an early age – a fundamental resource on which to draw throughout life.
With that in mind, and my personal passion for and belief in the value of journaling, I introduced Pixie to the concept. The gratitude journal we’re working through has worked wonders, however it wasn’t precisely what I wanted. So I created my perfect child’s journal…
My First Happy Journal
The format of the journal is designed to pique your child’s interest, nurture creativity, and encourage them to form positive lifelong habits that will support their wellbeing and mental, emotional, and psychological health.
If you’re intrigued, click through to the journal to view lots more information, plus images of some of the contents. Or find out more about how journaling can improve your wellbeing and claim your free sample!
I’m so excited to share our first journal with you, and I hope you’ll love it as much as we do.
How to Raise A Resilient Child
Of course, journaling is just one way to help lay those essential foundations. You could also try some of these activities to support your child’s emotional development.
If, like me, you’re inclined towards gentle parenting (with a lower case g – I’m not perfect and don’t go in for competitive or rigid parenting, even if it is claimed to be gentle!), then this enlightening post I found, written by a family counsellor, may also prove helpful.