Resilience doesn’t just mean getting back to normal after facing a difficult situation. It means learning from the process in order to become stronger and better at tackling the next challenge. Facing a challenge and surviving to tell the story is ok! For our children, this means allowing them to resolve their own conflicts, letting them pick themselves back up after a fall, giving them the space to mess up! For me, the word resilience means more than one’s ability to bounce back (or forward) after hardship. It is one’s ability to learn something from the process of bouncing back to be able to bounce forward. Therefore, it is one’s ability to transfer knowledge from one event to a similar event to obtain a more desirable outcome. If a child falls off their bicycle because they got distracted or hit a rock in the road, they may pay closer attention the next time they are on that bike. Or, if a child gets into an argument on the playground with another child about who’s turn it was on the slide, they will develop better conflict resolution skills for the next time. If we are continuously hovering over our children disallowing them to make a mistake, how will they ever truly learn some important life skills? Resilience is a personality trait that can be taught and it is up to the adult to allow our children to face healthy challenges. We need to act as solid support systems without jumping in to fix the problem that we see arising. That is part of all this, right? The fact that, as the adult, we can predict certain problems, and we are natural helpers and want to protect our children so the tendency is to jump in. But, our kids need to learn how to predict problems themselves and experience a bit of frustration in the process. There is a sweet spot for the amount of frustration a child can experience that will result in a positive outcome. Allow it all to happen!
Blah, Blah, Blah- the point is- resilience can be taught and is an important trait to have. Give your children some space! Your job is not to ride the horse with them, it is to make sure they get back on and try again!