How to Teach Resilience and Hope to Children

11 September, 2020
Learning from adversity and transforming it into something that allows us to grow is a fundamental part of being happy. That's why it's so important to teach resilience and hope to children.
 

As parents, it’s our responsibility to teach resilience and hope to our children in order to promote their happiness.

Webster’s Dictionary defines resilience in two ways. First, it’s “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress.” Second, it’s “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Therefore, it refers to the capacity to allow our experiences to make us stronger, even when those experiences are negative.

As we’ve stated, resilience is intimately connected to happiness. That’s because it allows people to take their experiences, learn from them, and transform them into something positive for the future.

Keep reading in order to find out just how you can accomplish this task by teaching your children this healthy value.

Teach resilience and hope to children

Unfortunately, resilience isn’t an intrinsic characteristic of human beings. We aren’t born being resilient; rather, it’s an ability that we learn.

Therefore, it’s our fundamental role as parents to teach resilience and hope to our children. That means helping them learn to adapt to and accept their experiences, to learn from them, and to move on.

Why is resilience so important?

A teenager with a positive attitude.
Resilience allows us to be positive and take advantage of adversity in order to create new opportunities.

We often compare life to a rollercoaster because it’s so full of ups and downs. While it’s quite an old analogy, it still rings very true today.

Knowing how to accept the difficulties and challenges that life throws our way is an important part of finding happiness. That’s because this acceptance allows us to face adversities in the best way possible and also grow from these experiences.

Teach resilience and hope to children so that they can transform their experiences into something new and positive. Help them not to remain stuck in the past, and to look toward the future with a positive attitude. Show them that discovering their own strengths is fundamental to their development in every aspect of life.

Resilience is a way of life. It allows us to achieve happiness through the transform any situation into something new and better. And that’s where the importance of resilience lies: It’s a ray of hopeNo matter what’s happened, we can turn it into something positive for our lives.

You may also want to read: 12 Ways to Stimulate Your Child’s Brain Health

8 tips to teach resilience and hope to your children

At the beginning of this article, we stated that resilience isn’t something we’re born with. Therefore, the role of parents and teachers becomes vitally important when it comes to raising resilient and hopeful children.

Let’s take a look at what we can do to to help promote these fundamental characteristics in our little ones:

1. Set a positive example

A happy family.
 
Positivity spread in our environment. Therefore, reflecting a positive attitude in the face of challenges will teach your children how to face their own problems.

The first step in teaching resilience to our children is to practice it ourselves. Our children will turn into resilient and hopeful beings if that’s the image we portray.

Remember, our children are continuously observing and imitating us. So, set a good example of how to make the most of every experience for your little ones. Show them how even “negative” situations can be turned into something beneficial.

2. Allow your children to make mistakes

Sometimes, as parents, we make the mistake of overprotective their children… But we’re not doing them any favors. Our needs need a certain amount of freedom to experience and make mistakes.

Give your children the space they need to make mistakes because that’s the best way to learn.

3. Allow children to face the consequences of their actions

This point is closely connected to the previous one. Allow your children to make mistakes and also take responsibility for their actions.

Children need to discover that their actions have consequences. It’s the only way to internalize social norms and evaluate what’s worth it and what isn’t.

4. Allow your children to become frustrated

A child that's feeling frustrated.
On occasion, we protect our children to keep them from suffering, but this also keeps them from learning something new. 

This is a very important point. Many parents try to protect their children from any type of suffering. But, are we really helping them adapt to life?

We should teach resilience through personal experiences, allowing them to have minor setbacks. It’s the only way for them to learn how to turn any situation into something positive.

Also read: 5 Ways that Shouting at Children Hurts them Long-Term

5. Help children learn to think for themselves

As parents, we tend to want to offer solutions to our children’s problems. However, children must learn to come up with their own solutions using logic. 

So, let your kids think for themselves and guide them so that they learn to solve their own problems. They’ll feel much prouder of themselves when they do!

6. Teach them that every change is an opportunity

Sometimes a problem has to do with the way we look at our problems. Why not teach your children that every change, no matter how negative, can be an opportunity?

This is the foundation of resilience: Everything can be turned into something better!

7. Encourage healthy self-esteem

A dad giving his son a high-five to teach resilience and hope
Children with healthy self-esteem are better at facing their problems and are happier thinkers.

Children that don’t value themselves and don’t see themselves as capable of anything won’t be able to face difficulties and challenges. So, encouraging self-esteem is a way to teach resilience and hope to children.

8. Show your children how much you love them!

Last but not least, show your children how much you love them with words, gestures, and actions. Teach them resilience through love. That’s the best way to raise hopeful children that will later become strong, empathetic, and happy adults.

Create a safe environment so that your children can experience freely. That way, they’ll develop their resilience so that nothing can bring them down. 

 
  • American Phychological Association. Discovery Health. The Road to Resilience. https://www.uis.edu/counselingcenter/wp-content/uploads/sites/87/2013/04/the_road_to_resilience.pdf
  • American Psychological Association. 10 Ways to Build Resilience. https://wellmd.stanford.edu/content/dam/sm/wellmd/documents/10-ways-to-build-resilience.pdf
  • Gail Hornor. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. Resilience. https://www.jpedhc.org/article/S0891-5245(16)30254-1/pdf