by: Regina Vogt-Purdon, LISW-S
March is both Child Life and National Social Work month, in which we celebrate the important work these professionals do to support children. But you don’t have to be one of these professionals to help foster resiliency in children. Resiliency is defined as the ability to “bounce back” when presented with a challenging situation. Children growing up in today’s world have more stress than children in past generations. We can help combat children’s stress and build their resiliency using these simple techniques:
1. Be Supportive: Strive to be in the moment with your child – this includes taking time away from your electronic devices to be completely present. Build a strong family network to support your child through not only the difficult times, but the times of celebration. A positive outlook enables your child to see the good things in life and keep going even in the hardest times.
2. Be Consistent: Predictability and reliability are necessary interactions with your children. Sticking to a routine can be comforting to children, especially younger children who need structure in their lives.
3. Be positive and nurture a positive self-view: Help your child remember ways they have successfully handled difficult situations and how those situations will help them manage challenges in the future. Help your child to trust themselves to solve problems and make appropriate decisions. The way we speak to children directly impacts their resiliency. Here are some examples of healing words to use with children:
“This is a safe place for you.”
“I’m happy to see you!”
“It’s okay for you to feel that way.”
“You are such a strong person.”