As parents we are sometimes faced at the end of a day with an upset and teary child. We spend time listening to them recall the events of the day; how something went wrong such as an argument with a friend, a lost lunch or not being selected for a particular team or class task. We listen attentively to the story and our hearts start to feel their discomfort.
Whilst we empathise with our child we can sometimes respond with a desire to fix it for them so they feel better and never have to face this situation again.
We want to put a band aid on their feelings, we want this hurt to go away. We don’t want them to be unhappy.
But what purpose does this achieve? Maybe it makes us feel better at the time and maybe it temporarily soothes the pain of our child’s discomfort.
Is there something else we could do?
None of us want our children to suffer hurts or disappointments – we want them to be happy and live full and successful lives. We want to protect them, keep them safe from the bumps of life.
However, life is full of frustrations, failures and challenges. I am sure as you reflect on your own life you would have personally experienced times of disappointment and discomfort, times when friendships seemed hard, times when you felt left out or overlooked and times when you felt overwhelmed.
Our children also face these same experiences and as we learnt through these times so our children need to learn how to navigate and manage themselves through these situations.
We can help our children learn skills and habits that will help them ‘bounce back’ from these challenges, hurts and disappointments.
Helping children develop skills and finding resources they can draw on during difficult times will help them to become resilient and change the way they respond when this happens again.
Growing their skills and resources of resilience supports children to cope with the tough times they will face throughout their lives. They will learn to apply their new skills of inner strength and engage support networks to help them navigate life’s ups and downs.
Although seeing your child live through these challenges is one of the most difficult parts of parenting, we have the chance of a lifetime to take these bumpy times and encourage our children through each situation. In doing so we are helping to develop behaviours which will certainly help them to face the challenges that are sure to come throughout their lives.
Developing skills and habits that promote resilience may take all their growing years to develop, but will certainly strengthen our children’s capacity to face and deal with these challenges as they move into adulthood.
It’s part of our commitment here at Cedars to help develop resilience in our students which will in turn help equip them to achieve greater success in their lives. We are always thinking ahead.
With this in mind, we have planned for a Parent Seminar on Tuesday 11 September with speaker Kylie Warry from the ‘Resilience Centre’ in Sydney to come and talk to parents and guardians about developing this vital skill. The seminar ‘Raising Kids that Cope’ is free and open to the community.
See here >> for more information. I hope to see many of our parents there.