Resilience Guide For Parents And Teachers

source: apa
15

We tend to idealize childhood as a carefree time, but youth alone offers no shield against the emotional hurts, challenges, and traumas many children face. Children can be asked to deal with problems ranging from adapting to a new classroom or online schooling to bullying by peers or even struggles at home. Add to that the uncertainties that are part of growing up in a complex world, and childhood can be anything but carefree. The ability to thrive despite these challenges arises from the skills of resilience. The good news is that resilience skills can be learned. Building resilience—the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress—can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that children won’t experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain, sadness, and anxiety are common when we have suffered major trauma or personal loss, or even when we hear of someone else’s loss or trauma. 10 tips for building resilience in children and teens 1. Make connections Teach your child the importance of engaging and connecting with their peers, including the skill of empathy and listening to others. Find ways to help children foster connectivity by suggesting they connect to peers in-person or through phone, video chats, and texts. It’s also important to build a strong family network. Connecting with others provides social support and strengthens resilience. 2. Help your child by having them help others Children who may feel helpless can feel empowered by helping others. Engage your child in age-appropriate volunteer work or ask for assistance yourself with tasks that they can master. At school, brainstorm with children about ways they can help others in their class or in grades below. 3. Maintain a daily routine Sticking to a routine can be comforting to children, especially younger children who crave structure in their lives. Work with your child to develop a routine, and highlight times that are for school work and play. Particularly during times of distress or transition, you might need to be flexible with some routines. At the same time, schedules and consistency are important to maintain. 4. Take a break While some anxiety can motivate us to take positive action, we also need to validate all feelings. Teach your child how to focus on something that they can control or can act on. Help by challenging unrealistic thinking by asking them to examine the chances of the worst case scenario and what they might tell a friend who has those worries. Be aware of what your child is exposed to that can be troubling, whether it’s through the news, online, or overheard conversations. Although schools are being held accountable for performance or required to provide certain instruction, build in unstructured time during the school day to allow children to be creative. 5. Teach your child self-care Teach your child the importance of basic self-care. This may be making more time to eat properly, exercise, and get sufficient sleep. Make sure your child has time to have fun, and participate in activities they enjoy. Caring for oneself and even having fun will help children stay balanced and better deal with stressful times. Continues below...

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