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How to Grow Stronger, More Resilient Kids

By Sandy Schroeder

If you have kids, you may be running to keep up right now as another school year rolls ahead with its usual assortment of ups and downs. Sometimes you may wonder how to make your kids more resilient and mentally stronger in a fast-paced complex world.

British psychologist Dr. Hazel Harrison suggests five ways parents can work with their children to increase their well-being and resilience.

Help Them Figure Out Who They Are

As you work with your child, talk about what they like to do and look for strengths that make them who they are. One child may be a natural at sports. Another may love music. Encourage them to do what they like and do well to give them confidence and help them understand their uniqueness. Look for role models who represent the same strengths and help them find opportunities to use their abilities and skills.

Teach Them to Be Kind

Start early with kids to show them how great giving can be. When kids bake cookies and deliver them to a lonely senior or spend time at a hospital delivering presents to sick kids, they often come away feeling better about themselves. Look for opportunities in your community to fund-raise and volunteer and encourage them to look for ways that they can help others.

Teach Them to Be Thankful

Start early to encourage kids to see what is working well in their lives. Ask kids to post a daily gratitude note on the family bulletin board listing something they are thankful for. Find time at dinner or before they go to bed to ask them what they are grateful for. You can learn a lot about what's going on in their world by their comments.

Teach Them to Live in the Present

Even at a young age, kids can pick up the habit of worrying about the future or regretting the past.  Help them concentrate more on what is happening right now with simple mindfulness exercises like drawing for 10 minutes. Ask them to draw something in the room. As they pick an object, talk about its shape, color and size. If their attention wanders, bring them back to the drawing. The idea is to stay focused on the present.

Teach Them to Try and Try Again

When they learn that they have only failed if they fail to try again, they will be on the right track. Help them participate in family projects which may or may not succeed, like growing a garden. When children see their parents fail and try again, they learn that things don’t always work out, but it’s still OK.

Whatever well-being techniques you use, always take the time to listen to them, and let them know you are there and you care.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic

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