Resilience is so important to develop in children so that they overcome life’s inevitable trials, bullies and heartaches. We started looking at the undermining of natural resilience in children in yesterday’s post, but let’s examine some important keys to developing it further for their emotional wellbeing. These are based on my own experiences of talking to plenty of people in years of teaching and other youth work.
1. Avoid mollycoddling. The overprotective ‘cotton wool’ treatment is a set-up for failure because the control that eventuates can’t be maintained forever and the lessons that need to be learned need responsible management at a young age to avoid the greater hurts that come to the naïve and underdeveloped in adulthood.
2. Say ‘no’ more often. Kids are not dealt any favours by getting what they want easily. By having to work harder to earn rewards and by being deprived luxuries or extravagances (and especially an over-excess of gifts and toys) kids can be brought to learn restraint and privilege. Saying ‘no’ can also help teach children how and when to say ‘no’ so that they don’t fall easy prey to the sometimes harmful peer-pressuring and bullying of others.
3. It’s not all about them. Diverting focus from selfishness is necessary and that gets role-modelled by parents. Giving money and time to charitable acts of servanthood and sacrifice teaches balance and respect for others. There may well always be someone better off, but there are plenty of people worse off, and kids do well to learn this for greater tolerance of others.
More on this tomorrow.