I’m not sure if one of our kids’ schools is including an ‘Insight’ each week from Michael Grose, leading parenting educator and founder of www.parentingideas.com.au because they realise they have a problem in their school (!) or whether they (like me) believe Michael’s approach to parenting is both pragmatic and really useful.

This week’s insight examined ways in which we, as parents, can help our kids have more resilience (that is, the ability to BOUNCE BACK).  It’s an insightful read filled with strategies we can all employ instantly.

I’ve found Michael’s website so useful.  Any issue you’re wondering about, there’s just about always a point of view worth reading. And he has a stack of materials available on the site and also to buy. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Resilience – Build inner strength and coping skills in kids

Resilience is a 21st Century parenting concept that every parent needs to understand.

Some kids are resilient by nature – their temperament helps them to be mentally and psychologically tough. You know those kids. They get straight back up after a setback or disappointment. Rejection in the playground doesn’t faze them. Unfortunately, not every child has such natural resilience.

The good news is that most of the research shows that resilience can be nurtured and developed, particularly when parents themselves are resilient and they actively foster it in their kids.

Resilient kids share four basic skill sets- independence, problem-solving, optimism and social connection.

From a resilience perspective parents need to coach kids through some of their more challenging moments and reviewing what they may have learned for next time. Avoid solving all their problems for them.

You can promote a lasting sense of resilience in your kids by:

  1. Having a positive attitude yourself. Your attitude as a parent impacts on their ability to bounce back from some of the difficulties they face. Make sure you model a ‘you can do it’ attitude for your child when he meets some of life’s curve balls.
  2. Look for teachable moments. Many kids’ learning opportunities are disguised as problems. Make the most of these opportunities so that kids can grow and learn from some of the challenges they face.
  3. Make kids active participants in the family. Active participation in a family develops the self-help, problem-solving and independence skills of kids that are necessary for resilience.
  4. Build kids coping skills. There are plenty of strategies you can pass on to kids to help them cope when life doesn’t go their way, including acceptance, getting away for awhile, and normalisation.

Promoting resilience in kids is a not a single event but a continuous process that requires adults to be supportive and empathetic when things don’t go their way. It also requires you as a parent to have an understanding of resilience, so you have faith in your yourself, and your child’s ability to cope.

What has your experience been with your children and those of friends and family been when it comes to ‘bouncing back’.  Got any tips for us other Mums?

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  • Some kids are more natUrally resilient than others

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  • I think kids are pretty resilient anyway, just naturally. My kids have grown up to be pretty tough

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  • Spending time with children and listening to them and responding properly is a way of promoting self esteem. I guess teaching Life is not always fair is a good lesson to learn.

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  • Yes! This is exactly what all kids need! The ability to bounce back from adversity!

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  • Such a great article. It’s hard to convince kids that it’s not the end of the world if something bad happens.

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  • I love Michael Grose and have followed him for years. He’s a wealth of info and advice. I work on as many teachable moments with my son as possible, and also encourage him to forgive. Even when it’s hideous bullying behaviour, we talk through why the bullies might behave that way, look at ways to improve the situation, and then to move on. We moved schools because we had to, it go so bad with bullying. My son now goes to school with one of the bullies. We’ve talked through all different scenarios and I believe we’ve now encouraged my son to go to participate in school life where one of these bullies go. With the help of the school, family support, and talking, we’ve worked through it.

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  • Will check out his site. My middle needs to be more resilience

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  • Thank you for this- such an important skill for children to develop. I have an extremely sensitive son and are trying on a daily basis to build his resilience.

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  • My daughter really struggles with bouncing back! She struggles to see any positives in so many situations and just has a low self esteem. It is devastating to watch as her parent, because she has many wonderful qualities (that she simply doesn’t see or acknowledge).

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  • This is definitely useful advice. Thanks.

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  • Good article .

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  • Some great ideas I will try to use.

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  • Thanks for sharing this informative article.

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  • Resilience is such an important trait to encourage.

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  • Will look up that website, have a friend whos kids are struggling.

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