Raising Resilient Children & Teens
Written by Carla Seemann, LPCC
Resilience involves the ability to get back up when you’ve been knocked down or to come back fighting stronger after a loss. Resilience is something that is LEARNED…we don’t just come into the world with it.
The 7 C’s: The Essential Building Blocks of Resilience
Competence: When we notice what young people are doing right and give them opportunities to develop important skills, they feel competent. We undermine competence when we don’t allow young people to recover themselves after a fall.
Confidence: Young people need confidence to be able to navigate the world, think outside the box, and recover from challenges.
Connection: Connections with other people, schools, and communities offer young people the security that allows them to stand on their own and develop creative solutions.
Character: Young people need a clear sense of right and wrong and a commitment to integrity.
Contribution: Young people who contribute to the well-being of others will receive gratitude rather than condemnation. They will learn that contributing feels good, and therefore more easily turn to others, and do so without shame.
Coping: Young people who possess a variety of healthy coping strategies will be less likely to turn to the dangerous quick-fixes when stressed.
Control: Young people who understand that privileges and respect are earned through demonstrated responsibility will learn to make wise choices and feel a sense of control.
Parents can help foster resilience in their children by:
- Teaching life skills (increases sense of competence)
- Teach them how to think (do not over direct or hand hold; let them speak for themselves)
- Prepare them for hard work
- Let them chart their own path
- Normalize struggle (things are not always easy)
- Listen to them
- Set high expectations…young people live up or down to the expectations set for them. They need adults who believe in them unconditionally and hold them to high expectations of being compassionate, generous, and creative
- Model healthy resilience strategies for children and teens
Resources for Parents
Check out www.healthychildren.org/BuildingResilience. Here you can view videos on a variety of topics including stress management and coping, discipline, using praise appropriately, and other resilience-building approaches.
The Blessing of a B Minus: Raising Resilient Teenagers by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D
Building Resilience in Children & Teens-Giving Kids Roots & Wings by Kenneth Ginsburg, MD
Carla has been a Counselor at Northeast Cincinnati Pediatrics since 2006. She currently sees patients in our Blue Ash office on Tuesdays and Thursdays.