When meeting children and parents, a common goal that parents mention is wanting their child to develop more resilience. It is an excellent goal to have, however it is also important to acknowledge that developing resilience is an ongoing and individual process. This means your child will need consistent input and guidance as they face challenges over time.
So why does developing resilience require so much time and effort? Well it’s in the definition. Resilience is the skill of ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences, adapting in the face of adversity. As resilience is not a trait that your child is born with, but a skill involving management of behaviours, thoughts, and emotions in the midst of challenges, that is learned – effort and practice over time are required.
How can you help your child practice resilience?
- Help your child make connections. Having supportive and caring relationships that create love and trust, and that provide role models, encouragement and reassurance both within and outside the family contribute to resilience.
- Let your child make mistakes. Unfortunately, to bounce back your child must first fall down. To develop resilience they must experience failure, mistakes, and challenges. During these times praise the strategies they use, efforts they make and personal strengths they demonstrate.
- Teach them to manage strong emotions. Showing resilience does not mean that your child will not experience pain, frustration, anxiety, or sadness. Stress, adversity and challenge bring out these emotions in everyone and that is okay. Help your child learn helpful, adaptive ways to manage and communicate them.
- Teach them to problem solve. Rather than rushing in to fix the problem for your child or telling them what to do, Work alongside your child to brainstorm solutions to address the challenge and possible consequences of each. Help them take action on one of their solutions.
If you are concerned about your child, remember to seek professional help from your General Practitioner,
Counsellor, or Psychologist.
Jessica Buster (M Clin Psych, Grad Dip Prof Psych, BA Psych Hons) is passionate about creating a caring and safe space to promote effective working relationships. Jessica applies evidence-based interventions in a client focused and collaborative manner to assist children, young people and their families move towards their goals of growth and wellbeing.
Jessica’s clinical training and experience has equipped her with skills in the assessment and treatment for mental health issues. She has gained experience working in roles across non-profit, hospital and private settings. This has included working as an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Therapist and roles at Guardian Youth Care, Headspace, Westmead Children’s Hospital Psycho-Oncology, and Healthy Minds Happy Kids.
Across all her roles, Jessica has pursued her interest in working with children, adolescents and their families experiencing a range of mental health difficulties including anxiety, emotion regulation difficulties, behavioural difficulties, social difficulties, and disability. She has been able to promote understanding and engagement with these clients by integrating a sense of fun and creativity into treatment.