To promote confidence in children needs us to avoid wrapping them in cotton wool. Instead, we want to shape some healthy people skills in an age-appropriate way. It is often helpful to have your children’s friends around (or to find ways of helping out at their school or sports club) so that you can hopefully see first-hand what they are facing. But that’s not always possible, so here are some more suggestions for what can be done at home to assist in making kids more resilient.
3. Ask questions in preference to giving answers. When kids process their day, they will want to open up again next time if they feel you are actually listening and then exploring their world with them. Guiding them to helpful solutions that they can own will foster an ability to think through pressure moments. Simply telling them that they are valued and important to you, as vital as that is, is not enough in shaping resilience because, whatever starting respect they should be given by others, they will always need to earn more.
4. Process away from the heat of battle. Life involves constant learning, especially in how we respond to what it throws at us. To teach through intentional values-shaping takes time we don’t have but must make. Whether on issues of justice, relationships, emotions or values, kids need proactive parenting that stands them in good stead, learning from previous problems and anticipating next ones.
Finally, as a Christian, I value the power of the Holy Spirit in giving healthy boldness and courage. To lead children into dependence on Him can promote wise and healthy interactions with people beyond their years, tempered with a humility that balances out the need to major on the majors and to minor on the minors.