At a recent ParentEd Talks event presented by Metro Parent and Wayne County Community College District as part of a series of talks with parenting experts, Sam Goldstein, Ph.D., and Robert Brooks, Ph.D. explained that there is a certain outlook resilient children have that enables them to live a more fulfilling life.
These top psychologists, who co-authored the widely read Raising Resilient Children, offer tips for parents to nurture this mindset in their own children, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to raise resilient children
1. Have a charismatic adult in their life
Whether it is an educator, family member or friend, it is essential for children to have someone in their life that is there for them no matter what.
2. Be a charismatic person for someone else
Researchers have found that it isn’t enough to be the recipient of a charismatic relationship. Goldstein and Brooks encourage both adults and children to serve as a charismatic person for someone else – a younger sibling, child in need, friend, elderly neighbor, etc.
3. Find a child’s islands of confidence
Islands of confidence refers to areas of refuge in which children excel and enjoy. Shift your thinking to focus on the positive in a child and let them explore their strengths. Honor and celebrate who they are!
4. Let children feel like they are making a difference
Rather than telling a child to complete a task, such as chores, acknowledge how their action was helpful to you or to the world around them.
5. Develop a problem-solving attitude
Resilient people see things as problems to be solved rather than be overwhelmed it. For example, when a child makes a mistake, don’t get frustrated. This can be extremely humiliating to a child. Instead, work with that child to figure out what can be done differently next time.
6. Set up an uninterrupted special time for your child
Sometimes it is the little things like quality time with a child that leave the most impact on them. Plan for a set special time with them – whether it is daily or weekly – where you will not be bothered by others or electronics.
7. Listen, learn and influence
Sometimes, saying nothing is the best thing a parent can do. Acknowledge what a child is saying, don’t be too quick to offer a solution and when responding to them, use language that fits the child.
8. Look at mistakes as opportunities to learn
Make sure your child knows that mistakes happen and that’s OK. Instead of dwelling on them, look at them as opportunities to learn. There is no such thing as errorless learning.
9. Model empathy
Empathy does not imply that you agree with everything your children do, but rather that you attempt to appreciate and validate a child’s point of view. Sometimes, a child simply wants to know that they are being heard.
10. Discipline in a way that promotes self-worth
Be consistent in how you discipline your child, but not rigid. Remember that positive feedback and encouragement are often the most powerful form of discipline.
Looking for more parenting tips from experts? Register for the remaining ParentEd Talks with one ticket!