How to Teach Children Resilience

In order for children to be able to develop, cope with life’s challenges and participate in the world as a healthy adult in the future, they need to have resilience. Resilience is an important key skill to have from a young age. This life skill allows us to believe in our ability to overcome any obstacles that come our way and encourages a stronger sense of self-esteem. 

But how can you help your child build resilience and continue developing?

1. Allow Children to Make Mistakes

Over the past few years the pressure that children feel to be perfect and keep achieving, especially academically, has increased largely. It is important that we teach children that making mistakes is a normal part of everyday life and it gives us opportunities to learn and grow from experiences. 

Often, reflecting on our mistakes prompts great learning. When children are given the freedom to make mistakes and understand that it is a natural part of the learning process, they develop a more resilient mindset.

By normalising mistakes, children become more willing to take risks, try new things, and push their boundaries. They learn that setbacks and failures are temporary and that they have the capacity to bounce back and try again.

Students playing the recorder

2. Encourage Children to Try New Things

Encouraging children to try new things plays a crucial role in fostering their resilience. When children are exposed to unfamiliar experiences, whether it’s learning a musical instrument, participating in a team sport, or engaging in creative endeavours, they develop the ability to adapt and overcome challenges. By embracing new activities, children learn to step out of their comfort zones, confront uncertainties, and build resilience in the face of setbacks. 

Trying new things enables children to develop problem-solving skills, build confidence, and develop a growth mindset, as they learn that failure is not a permanent roadblock but instead an opportunity for growth. The process of exploring new activities empowers children to develop a sense of self-efficacy, as they realise that they have the capacity to overcome obstacles and learn new skills. 

Ultimately, by encouraging children to venture into uncharted territories, we provide them with the skills to navigate life’s challenges with resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace the unknown.

3. Encourage Children to Talk About Their Emotions

Another powerful way to enhance children’s resilience is by encouraging them to talk about their emotions. When children are given a safe and supportive environment to express their feelings, it helps them develop a better understanding of their emotional experiences. 

By openly discussing emotions, children learn to recognise and label their feelings, which is an important step in effectively coping with them. Talking about emotions also enables children to develop stronger social connections and seek support when needed. 

When children are encouraged to share their struggles, fears, and anxieties, they realise that they are not alone and that others may have faced similar challenges. This fosters empathy and a sense of belonging, which in turn strengthens their resilience. 

Students running in a race

4. Encourage Children to Accept Change

Accepting change as a child is a crucial factor in cultivating resilience. While change can be an unsettling, scary feeling, it is an important part of life. When children are taught to embrace it rather than fear it, they develop the capacity to adapt and thrive in various situations. 

By encouraging children to see change as an opportunity for growth and personal development, they learn to navigate transitions with resilience. Accepting change allows flexibility, open-mindedness, and the ability to adjust to new circumstances. It provides children with the skills to manage uncertainty and embrace new experiences, whether that’s by transitioning to a new school, adjusting to a different environment, or facing unexpected challenges. 

5. Help Children Build Their Self-Esteem

Building self-esteem as a child is important for increasing resilience. When children have a healthy sense of self-worth and confidence, they are better equipped to face life’s challenges and setbacks with resilience. This can be encouraged by regularly praising children for their hard work, speaking to them with respect, and reminding them of how they have faced difficult times previously. 

With a strong foundation of self-esteem, children are more likely to persevere in the face of difficulty and bounce back from failures. They develop a sense of inner strength and resilience that enables them to confront obstacles, overcome self-doubt, and maintain a positive outlook. 

Building self-esteem also empowers children to establish boundaries, make healthy choices, and develop healthy goals. They become less vulnerable to negative peer pressure and more resilient in the face of criticism or rejection.

Students playing

Teaching Resilience at St Peter’s Prep

Here at St Peter’s Prep, an Independent primary school, we provide a structured and supportive environment for our pupils in order for them to develop essential skills and attitudes that contribute towards resilience. 

Through academic challenges, activities, and social interactions, we offer numerous opportunities for students to face and overcome obstacles, fostering their resilience. We prioritise the emotional well-being of all of our students and provide a sense of belonging for all children.

We believe that the resilience skills we teach our students is one of the many reasons they thrive in various aspects of life. 

If you would like to discover more about our brilliant school, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

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