What can you do to promote resilience in your child’s life?

Modeling resilience ourselves is an excellent strategy. Building resilience in children involves three parts.

1. Independence: Identify opportunities for independence. Embrace “Help me to do it myself”, and resist the urge to take over. Allow yourselves time.

2. Emotional awareness: Think of tantrums and outbursts as learning opportunities for children, to help a child identify their emotions and learn to manage frustration. Re-think, validate and problem solve to address the cause of their frustration, and give them more coping skills.

3. Confidence: Positive affirmations, validation, support and care encourage resilience. Encourage your child to keep trying. Show them mistakes are okay and we can learn from them. Actively point out a child’s strengths.

Useful phrases when building resilience

• “I can do it!” 

• “That was hard, but you did it.” 

• “I would like you to try, and I’m right here if you get stuck.” 

• “Who could you ask for help?” (when starting a new activity, make the children aware of being able to ask for help.)

• “Do you remember when xxxx (eg putting on your shoes) was so hard? You practiced and now you can do it easily. If you practice you will be able to learn this new thing.” 

• “I need your help.” Role model and make it okay to ask for help by enlisting the help of your child when you are finding something ‘hard’ to do.

• “Which part can I help with?” 

• “You look upset, would you like help talking to your friend?” 

• “That was hard for me, but I did it.” 

What are we doing at GAP to teach resilience?

GAP, we love to help children learn to be increasingly resilient. This could be by:
– Pointing out challenges the child has already overcome and instilling a sense of achievement and pride that they can lean on when moving on to bigger challenges.
– We read inspiring stories about others who have overcome adversity with perseverance.
– Children are involved in all sorts of tasks, like wiping down tables, cutting fruit, sweeping the deck, cleaning toys, wiping spills, dressing themselves, feeding themselves, taking responsibility for their belongings, and tidying up after themselves. (Where we must re-do their cleaning work, we try to do this discreetly.)
– We problem solve together in circle time.
– In our toy-free weeks we are not reliant on toys.
– We talk about disappointment and frustration and ways to handle them.
– We have a favourite book called Auf der Suche nach Rosa, which is also available in the Spielwelt library.
– We talk with the children about ways in which we can encourage each other.
– Another favourite book is The ABC Book of Feelings.
– We’ll set realistic challenges for the children, and discuss how we met those challenges.
– In one-to-one conversations, we’ll ask the children to tell us things that they are good at and build on their strengths to increase their capacity.

Our commonly used resilience phrases at GAP:

“Ich schaffe das!” (I can do it!) “Auf machen, bitte?” (please open this for me) “Wer moechte mir helfen?” (who wants to help? (wipe tables, for example)) “Du hast es geschafft!” (You did it!)

Return to our mental health and well-being main page to access links to read about other themes we focus on.