How to Build Resilience in Children

Life is rough. That’s just the way it is and nobody can do anything to change it. We’ve all been through things we wish we didn’t have to deal with.

As parents, we hope that our children don’t have to face the same struggles. Some parents even take drastic measures to make sure they don’t. But the reality is that even if your kids don’t face the same struggles, they will still face struggles.

The best gift you can give your child is the fortitude to face those struggles with grace. Read on for our top tips on how to build resilience in children.

Resilience Defined

What is resilience? Fortitude, inner strength, determination — all of these qualities describe a little piece of resilience.

The resilient child is the one who gets back up and keeps running after tripping on the playground. Resilient children grow into resilient adults who face tremendous struggles and don’t give up.

The Source of Resilience

Spend a few minutes watching a group of small children on a playground and you’ll quickly notice that some are more resilient than others. Some easily shake off a scraped knee, while others need lots of encouragement to get up and keep playing. Why is that?

Some children are naturally more resilient than others.

Don’t worry if your child seems to be on the less resilient end of the spectrum. There are plenty of ways you can help them develop more resilience over time.

How to Build Resilience in Children

Resilience is important for every child’s mental health, but you don’t have to depend on mother nature. Researchers have noted common factors among children with higher levels of resilience that you can learn from.

The single most important factor is that the child has a strong, stable relationship with at least one adult. Bonus points if that adult is also quite resilient and can model resilient behaviour for the child.

Being heavily involved in a church, other faith-based organizations, or cultural traditions is also a huge factor. Children in these environments often develop a strong sense of community and identity which helps build resilience.

Other factors include teaching children to be more independent, building their sense of self-efficacy, and allowing them a certain amount of perceived control.

Building Resilience Together

Anyone can learn to be more resilient, even adults! Don’t worry if you feel like you aren’t as resilient as you could be. You and your child can build this trait together.

Actively look for positive things even in dark circumstances. Seek a strong community through friends and family. Look for the lesson in every difficulty and always strive to move forward, even when the going gets tough.

Your child will see these behaviours in you and will learn to develop them in themselves as they grow and mature.


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