8 Aug 2022


How to Help Your Child Develop Resiliency

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Suicides, nervous breakdowns, substance abuse, and psychological problems have risen in the contemporary young adults. Psychologists have argued that among the explanations for this phenomenon is the fact that these young adults have been so much used to an easy life that at the very first advent of adversity, they fall apart (Bierman & Motamedi, 2015) . What these individuals lacked as children were the absence of the right environment for the development of resilience. By definition, resilience is the ability to successfully face and overcome adversity as well as the ability to bounce back after being overcome by adversity. From a psychological perspective, the resiliency is part of the empirical development of a child and takes place contemporaneously with the other growth processes. It is, therefore, incumbent upon parents and those tasked with rearing children to create an environment where children will develop resilience as it is an important aspect of growth. 

The primary point for the development of resiliency is the knowledge that adversity exists in the world. This is among the major areas in which contemporary parents fail. If a child gets everything they want as and when they want it, they shall develop the misconception that life will always be like that. Further, a child who is cushioned from all risk will never suffer from any harm such as a fall or a slight injury and will assume that things such as pain do not really exist in the real world. Whereas causing the suffering of a child is wrong as well as a criminal offense, over-pampering a child causes as much damage as child-neglect to the child (Bierman & Motamedi, 2015) . It is, therefore, important for a child to be taught through experience that it is normal to want something and not have it either because it is not available or since it is not necessary. This will make a child differentiate between wants and needs and also understand that some needs can be unavailable under some circumstances. This introduces the child to the concept of adversity and lays the foundation for the development of resiliency. 

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While the first step is mainly passive, the second step for resiliency development is active and entails a teaching process. When the child faces a problem in life since not all needs are met nor all risks avoided, it is the responsibility of the guardian to teach the child how to overcome the problem. When an individual knows how to overcome a problem, it ceases being a problem and becomes a challenge or even a normal part of life. Teaching children how to solve mundane problems creates the realization that running into a problem is not the end of life as problems can be solved (Bierman & Motamedi, 2015) . This also sets the child on a journey to learn how to solve the increasingly larger problem as the child continually grows. The second part of training relates to teaching children concrete skills. This is definite skills for handling real life situations as and when they arise, beginning from the known to the unknown. For example, teaching a child to break the ice through polite salutation when a stranger is encountered is an important concrete skill. 

The next step in enabling the development of resilience relates to what the parent should avoid while raising the child. The first is the avoidance of the ‘why’ question and replacing it with the ‘how’ question. It is almost instinctive to ask an individual, even a child why they did something wrong. This creates a moment of conflict which mostly does not help a child. Instead, a mistake should be shown to be a learning experience by asking the child ‘how’ it intends to solve the problem that has resulted because of the mistake (Shapero et al, 2015) . This creates the realization that problems do not always result in conflict or chastisement but can, however, be productive as a learning experience. Another kindred process is avoiding answering all questions that children ask but instead transforming a question into a learning experience. When a child asks about something whose answer can be found in a safe internet site or a book, the guardian can use the opportunity to teach the child how to find answers using such mediums (Shapero et al, 2015) . This will teach the child how to find answers from available systems instead of having to look for someone to provide the answers. 

Finally, children are not meant to be perfect and should, therefore, not be expected to be so or even made to feel as if they do (Shapero et al, 2015) . Among the major mistakes that parents do is talk catastrophically to children like telling them that if they went outdoors they might get lost or run over by vehicles thus devastating the parent of guardian. A positive point of reference for teaching is fundamental more so when a child has made a mistake. Further, when something goes wrong it is important to let a child understand that getting emotional is normal. It is ok to cry but important to learn how to calm down soon after. These are important learning processes that will enable the child to make a comeback after being overwhelmed by adversity (Shapero et al, 2015) . 

It has always been the obligation of grownups to create learning experiences for children in basic processes such as talking, reading, and writing. Resilience is just as important as these processes as it entails psychological growth. A psychological problem nullifies all other skills such as academics and life skills since they require a healthy brain. It is, therefore, the obligation of a parent or guardian as well as anyone tasked with caring for a child to create the right environment for resilience. This environment includes teaching children that adversity exists, teaching children how to solve problems and find answers for themselves as well as teaching children how to allow but control emotions when overwhelmed. These parental skills will create an environment for the development of resiliency in childhood. 


Bierman, K. L., & Motamedi, M. (2015). Social and emotional learning programs for preschool children. In J. Durlak, C. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, and T. Gullotta (Eds.) The Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice. New York: Guilford. 

Shapero, B. G., Hamilton, J. L., Stange, J. P., Liu, R. T., Abramson, L. Y., & Alloy, L. B. (2015). Moderate childhood stress buffers against depressive response to proximal stressors: a multi-wave prospective study of early adolescents.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 43 (8), 1403-1413 

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