Coronavirus is being a spoilsport of 2020 so far for everyone – be it children, adults or the elderly. It has taken the world by surprise and nobody knows how long will it continue like this. When we are faced inevitable adversity like this in life, to achieve our intended goals and finding happiness, a person’s ability to cope and resilience play a very important role. The ability to thrive despite these challenges arises from the skills of resilience. The good news is, parents can teach resilience skills to their children.
Building resilience — It is the ability to adapt well to adversity or even significant sources of stress. We can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Resilience should be developed from an early age, and we should proactively help our children develop it as well. Following are tips for building resilience.
- By lending a helping hand: Encourage your child to help others, because children who may feel helpless can be empowered by helping others. Parents should encourage the child in age-appropriate volunteering work.
- Have a daily routine: Daily routines help children to complete their task and is comforting for them, especially younger children who like structure in their lives. Encourage your child to develop his or her own way of a daily routine
- Unstructured time: Build in unstructured time during the day to allow children to be creative and inquisitive. Make sure that your child does not have a hectic schedule of his or her life with no “downtime” to relax.
- Every child should be taught self-care: Teach your child the importance of eating on time and eating properly, exercise and rest. Caring for oneself by having fun will help your child stay balanced and better deal with stressful times.
- Try and maintain a hopeful outlook: Even when your child is facing a difficult situation, help him look at the situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Although some children may be too young to consider a long-term look on their own, help him or her see that there is a future beyond the current situation and that the future can be good. An optimistic and positive outlook enables children to see the good things in life and keep going even in the hardest times.
- Acceptance – change is a part of life: Change often can be very scary for children and teens. Help your child see that change is part of life. New goals can replace some goals that have become unattainable. In school, point out how students have changed as they moved up in grade levels and discuss how that change has had an impact on the students.
Always remember, children also take cues from adults around them, so maybe we can incorporate some of these in our lives as well, to remain a positive, calming influence in our children’s lives. Stay safe, stay resilient!
Written by: Ambereen Pradhan, associate SOI practitioner. Ambereen, along with her husband, founded Energia SOI. As of 1st June 2019, they have work with 950+ education centres in 92 cities and 700+ schools.