How is resilience cultivated in our children? Whatdo we mean by resilient children and what is Resilience then?

written by Dr. Eirini Lordou MD,Msc

Child Psychiatrist

How is resilience cultivated in our children?

What do we mean by resilient children and what is Resilience then?

Resilience is the ability to adapt emotionally and socially to any possible form of risk whether it is social, e.g. Bullying, divorce, death in the family, war and immigration or some physical or mental illness.

It’s the way we respond emotionally – the way we think about the way we “get by in the face of a difficulty.”

In the lives of our children, no matter how much we protect them and as good parents as we can be, we have to admit that bad things can happen in their lives and we cannot change them or avoid them.

So what can we do to help them stay mentally healthy despite all the difficulties they may face in their lives?

1. Support – keyword

The child’s reaction to a difficult experience depends not only on his own temperament, character and what happened to him in the past, but also on the kind of support he has from his environment, family, school, friends and society at large. The way people react around the child, the composure they will show off, the readiness to respond to the needs of the child, plays a key role. Parents should maintain and have constant communication with the child but also be able to come out of their own world and self-centeredness.

The flexibility of the environment, too, to adapt, to enter into new routines and programmes, is also a very important factor.

2. Personal skills and competences of the child

Helping our children develop social skills, get out of themselves, show compassion and respond to the needs of others and learn to communicate their feelings and thoughts is also an important factor. In addition, to train them to manage their emotions, to remain psychologically organized and calm, to be able to think in situations of intense emotional charge and to remain optimistic.

The above require care for our children. We must therefore aim to prevent investment for the future and not to avoid the problem and over protectiveness.