building resilience in children

Building Resilience In Children

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    The idea of their children struggling or failing is enough to make most parents feel sick to their stomachs. Most parents believe they must shield their children from life's challenges. It's an entirely reasonable assumption. To be sure, there are better methods to set a kid up for success.

    Do you want your child to grow up to value compassion and kindness? If so, ask yourself why. Would you like to bring up a young adult who can handle challenges with grace, confidence, and the ability to learn new things?

    According to studies, these characteristics are all developed when people are given the chance to overcome difficult obstacles. Adversity can teach your child to appreciate the finer things in life and provide the gratifying sense of accomplishment that comes from conquering challenges and reaching goals.

    The capacity to persevere through adversity and seek out new challenges is a trait you may instil in your child at an early age.

    What Is The Definition Of Child Resilience?

    Resilience as a notion is truly quite old.

    Tales of individuals triumphing over impossible odds have captivated audiences for generations. Some terms that have been suggested to describe emotionally resilient children include stress-resistant, invulnerable, and successful high-risk youngsters.

    But the concept of "invulnerability" left it unfulfilled because it failed to empathise with the child's anguish. They changed their minds and instead suggested the term "resilience"—a word that has been in use by social scientists and practitioners for decades.

    Researchers have put forth several acknowledged and widely used definitions of resilience. One of these is:

    Adapting to tough or risky situations or the effect of doing so is resilience. Accordingly, resilient children show signs of prosocial growth even when faced with challenges.

    Resilience is not a silver bullet or superpower; it has been seen as a form of Ordinary Magic since everyone may develop a certain amount of it despite its potency.

    Resilient people can endure and even thrive in the face of adversity since resilience is not an inherent quality but rather a learned behaviour that, when internalised, may be called upon in times of crisis.

    The idea of resilience is complex, as are many things related to psychology. Resilience is a multi-faceted trait that depends on abilities that change in response to different challenges.

    building resilience in children 1

    Why Is Resilience So Important?

    The one certainty in life is that we will face challenges eventually. In addition, while every generation has had its fair share of problems, the stresses, worries, and expectations placed on today's youth are a formidable obstacle to their maturation into productive adults.

    However, the bright side is:

    Despite the unfortunate circumstances, there is a factor under our control. Some people crumble under the weight of their suffering, but others rise above it all by carving out a path to their true selves, the ones they were always destined to be.

    Thankfully, today's youth are protected from or at least lessened by various important psychosocial and environmental factors.

    These characteristics comprise resilience, which a Centre on the Developing Child guidebook defines as factors that benefit and help resilience thrive in different settings.

    Optimistic youth development advocates, including parents, practitioners, and educators, value resilience, as it enables children to persevere emotionally when faced with challenges.

    How to Teach Children to Be Resilient

    Some children are just more arduous than others. However, toughness can be taught in the classroom and at home. Some strategies to assist children in dealing with difficult situations and becoming more resilient are:

    Recognise How They Feel

    Problems and letdowns aren't fun to deal with. Kids won't get stronger or learn to deal with them if you tell them it's not so horrible or that they shouldn't be sad.

    Instead, encourage children to acknowledge and express all of their feelings, even unpleasant ones. Being self-aware is a crucial component of resilience. 

    Honesty in Discussing Your Strengths

    It might be challenging to see past the difficulties when you are having difficulty or have performed poorly at something.

    Assist children in recognising and appreciating their abilities (without being too demanding). Give examples of when those qualities were an asset. This debate should be had regularly, not only when there is a setback.

    Give a Hand, But Stay Out of It

    Children with strong will often get back up and try again. They want to find answers. Prompt that action by offering assistance while refraining from intervening to resolve issues. Being resilient requires facing obstacles, not avoiding them. It would help if you worked through them.

    Discuss What You've Learned

    Generally, children with unique learning and cognitive styles should practise seeing the lessons in everyday life. Discuss the challenges they faced and the methods they employed to overcome them. Show them how to improve for the next challenge by analysing what they learned from the previous one. 

    Motivate Them To Seek Assistance

    It is essential to teach children that they are strong when they ask for help and aren't weak when they struggle or fail. Enquire what they require to overcome challenges or improve in a particular area. If you are unable to assist, discuss who else could.

    Gain Faith That Things Are Amenable to Change

    One of the most critical components of resilience is the belief that one may make progress and is not trapped in one's current situation. One can learn to think in this way. You can practise this skill by downloading activities.

    Competence is the foundation upon which a child builds his confidence in his talents. Instill trust by:

    • Helping each child understand their strengths by highlighting their positive qualities
    • Demonstrating admirable traits like kindness, honesty, perseverance, and objectivity
    • Being able to acknowledge their successes
    • Praise that is genuine and focused on particular accomplishments rather than generalised platitudes
    • Keeping the child from being overwhelmed by tasks that are beyond their capabilities


    Knowing that you can successfully navigate a certain circumstance is what we mean when we talk about competence. Competence development can be aided by:

    • Assisting kids in zeroing in on their unique abilities
    • Getting down to the specifics of any errors found
    • Providing kids agency to make choices
    • Ensure that your concern for your child's safety does not come across as a lack of confidence in their ability to manage challenging situations.
    • Acknowledging each sibling's strengths without comparing them


    Strong relationships with loved ones and neighbours help build self-confidence, which fosters moral principles and keeps people from seeking unhealthy substitutes for affection. Your youngster can benefit from developing social skills by:

    • Making your home a place where you can feel safe both physically and emotionally
    • Creating a safe space for children to express themselves emotionally so that they can seek support when they're going through tough times
    • Resolving family conflicts through open communication
    • Making a gathering spot where everyone may relax and enjoy one other's company (not always while watching TV).
    • Building strong bonds that will spread good vibes


    Children need to have strong moral principles to know what is right and wrong and how to treat other people with kindness and compassion. To help your child develop good character, begin by:

    • Displaying the impact of actions on other people
    • Encouraging your youngster to see that they are a compassionate individual
    • Highlighting the significance of community
    • Supporting the growth of a sense of spirituality
    • Staying away from stereotypically racist or nasty language


    The world is a better place with children; they must know it. A sense of direction and drive might emerge from realising the significance of one's contribution. Instil in your kids the value of contributing by:

    • Teaching kids that there are a lot of individuals who are hungry and lack necessities
    • Emphasising helping others by being a generous role model
    • Providing chances for every student to make a unique contribution


    You can better equip your child to face life's obstacles if they learn to manage stress. Here are some teachings on positive coping:

    • Consistently demonstrating effective methods of dealing with stress
    • Helping your child to find healthy ways to deal with stressful situations
    • Understanding that requesting that they change their behaviour would not have the desired effect
    • Realising that a lot of adolescents' dangerous behaviours are just ways for them to cope with the pain and stress they experience daily
    • Keeping from shaming your child even more when you criticise their bad actions


    Kids are more inclined to believe in their resilience if they know they can influence the results of their actions. Your child's self-assurance and competence will soar when they realise they have the power to make a positive impact. Your youngster can be encouraged to take the initiative by:

    • Assisting your youngster in realising that the majority of life's occurrences are not random but rather the product of the decisions and deeds of other people
    • Discovering that discipline is more about teaching than controlling or punishing; utilising discipline to teach your child that his actions have repercussions

    Activities for Children That Build Resilience

    Do Volunteer Work

    Helping those less fortunate is one of the best ways to instil resilience, compassion, and empathy in children. Giving back to the community shifts focus from one's needs to those of others.

    This selfless attitude encourages initiative and independence while positively impacting the world. Giving back to the community is one of the most selfless things a young person can do.

    Get A Job

    Having a job can help teens develop resilience by giving them a sense of control over their lives, a belief in their abilities, and the satisfaction of contributing to the family budget.

    Become Active Outside of the Classroom

    Participating in enjoyable and fulfilling pursuits boosts resilience in young people by increasing their sense of mastery, social connection, and happiness.

    Show Compassion

    Empathy is crucial for encouraging resilience in youth, as mentioned before, because it encourages a caring and giving attitude rather than fixating on one's issues.

    Establish Practical Goals

    Feeling overworked, overscheduled, and unable to achieve desired goals is a common source of stress for young people, especially adolescents. When teens feel accomplished after accomplishing little goals, their resilience increases.

    building resilience in children 2

    Pay Attention to Pressures

    The hidden pressures that make life tough aren't always apparent to young people. An example of this would be a teenager whose falling grades might not associate a lack of sleep and bad study habits with their falling marks. Adolescents can take steps towards greater resilience by being more self-aware of the sources of their stress.

    Find Your Passion!

    When people engage in meaningful activities, their lives are more prosperous and more satisfying, regardless of age. Tapping into these latent passions is the key to a resilient and joyful existence.


    Instilling resilience in children at a young age is essential. While it may be helpful in an emergency, it is not an innate trait but a learned behaviour. Rather than being a static quality dependent on fixed skills, resilience is dynamic and adaptable, like a superhero with many faces and a wide range of talents.

    Resilient children are better able to weather storms and emerge stronger than before emotionally. Many crucial psychological, social, and environmental elements shield or mitigate today's adolescents.

    Parents may educate their children to be resilient by recognising and expressing emotions, being honest about strengths, offering assistance without getting involved, and sharing what they've learned.

    Being resilient is more of a learned behaviour that may be utilised in various contexts; it's not a fixed answer. Children need to learn to recognise and value their talents to overcome challenges and create solutions. Parents may empower their children to succeed in the future by emphasising the importance of reflecting on and learning from past experiences.

    Motivating children to seek help and helping them understand that they are not weak when they struggle or fail are crucial components of resilience building. A child's self-esteem can only flourish when they are shown that things can and will improve and when they are given the tools to succeed.

    Acknowledging children's achievements, giving them agency to make choices, and assisting them in understanding their talents are all ways to foster competence development.

    Developing one's sense of self-worth and moral compass requires regular social interaction. Fostering moral beliefs and avoiding toxic alternatives for affection can be achieved through building solid relationships with loved ones and neighbours.

    A sense of purpose and motivation can be instilled in youngsters by teaching them the importance of making a positive contribution.

    Some examples of healthy coping mechanisms include showing others how to deal with stress consistently and successfully, realising that asking someone to change their behaviour would not work, and not humiliating them when they do something wrong.

    For kids to trust in their strengths, they need to feel like they have control. Motivating children to take charge and understand that their choices have consequences can enhance their sense of competence and self-confidence.

    Volunteering, obtaining a job, being active outside of class, demonstrating compassion, making realistic objectives, paying attention to stresses, and discovering hobbies all build resilience.

    In conclusion, helping children become more resilient requires inspiring them to ask for assistance when needed, building their confidence in their talents, highlighting their expertise, and getting them involved in extracurricular activities. Kids can build resilience and happiness by paying attention to these things.

    Content Summary

    • Preparing children for success is more important than trying to protect them from life's difficulties.
    • Success in adversity cultivates character traits, including empathy, tolerance, resilience, and openness to new experiences.
    • Research shows that kids learn to value life's more excellent things and feel accomplished when facing challenges.
    • Building children's resilience from a young age equips them to face adversity head-on and seek further difficulties.
    • Fostering prosocial growth in children, resilience is the ability to adjust to harsh situations or the influence of such situations.
    • The ability to bounce back from setbacks is known as resilience, a learned rather than a natural trait.
    • A person's resilience depends on their capacity to adapt to new situations and problems.
    • Every person must learn to persevere in the face of adversity; resilience is the quality that allows them to do just that.
    • Modern stressors impede youth development, yet resilience is something we can control.
    • Factors that promote and sustain resilience's development in various contexts make it up.
    • Practitioners highly esteem resilience since it empowers youngsters to persevere emotionally in adversity.
    • Acknowledging emotions and encouraging self-awareness are strategies for fostering resilience in children.
    • Letting children see their strengths without putting undue pressure on them is essential.
    • Giving kids support without fixing their problems encourages them to face challenges head-on, which helps them develop resilience.
    • Inspiring kids to reflect on setbacks and share what they've learned helps them bounce back from adversity.
    • Resilience is nurtured when children learn that seeking assistance indicates power, not fragility.
    • To help youngsters become resilient, believing in their ability to change is essential.
    • Competence boosts self-assurance and entails playing to one's abilities, taking stock of one's accomplishments, and avoiding too-ambitious goals.
    • As we grow as people, we learn to empathise with others, build stronger communities, and avoid using cruel language.
    • By highlighting the importance of assisting others and offering youngsters unique opportunities to make a difference, the concept of contribution instils a feeling of purpose.
    • A key component of coping abilities is avoiding shaming and effectively teaching methods for managing stress.
    • By teaching kids that their actions have consequences, control builds resilience.
    • By directing their attention to the needs of others, children learn perseverance, compassion, and empathy via volunteer activity.
    • Working teens gain confidence, experience independence, and the ability to bounce back from setbacks.
    • Resilience is enhanced through cultivating social relationships and satisfaction through participation in meaningful extracurricular activities.
    • Putting one's problems in perspective via empathy promotes a compassionate attitude and resilience.
    • To develop resilience, teenagers should set attainable goals and be cognisant of hidden pressures.
    • Regardless of age, following your passions will lead to a more fulfilling life and boost your resilience.
    • The secret to a resilient and satisfying existence is finding ways to participate in essential activities.
    • Parents should teach them to overcome adversity instead of trying to protect their children from problems.
    • Children develop empathy, kindness, and resilience when facing and conquering adversity.
    • According to research, children learn to value life's finer things and take pride in their achievements when they face adversity.
    • Early resilience training helps kids face adversity and even seek growth opportunities.
    • Children can develop prosocial traits through practising resilience, which is the ability to adapt to adversity.
    • The ability to persevere in the face of hardship results from this taught behaviour.
    • Adapting and persevering in the face of adversity is just one component of resilience.
    • Resilient people can overcome adversity, which everyone must face at some point.
    • The pressures that young people face today stunt their growth, but we can help them become more resilient.
    • Children develop resilience and emotional fortitude through encouraging empathy and a sense of community.
    • Some ways to strengthen resilience include self-awareness, coping with stress, and recognising and accepting one's emotions.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Supportive relationships, whether with parents, caregivers, teachers, or peers, provide children with a sense of security, empathy, and encouragement, which are vital for resilience.


    Mindfulness exercises, storytelling about overcoming challenges, encouraging hobbies or interests, and problem-solving games can enhance resilience.


    Parents can reframe failures as learning opportunities, encourage growth, provide guidance without rescuing, and help children identify strategies to overcome setbacks.


    Yes, strategies for building resilience can be adapted based on a child's developmental stage, with age-appropriate methods for teaching coping skills and problem-solving.


    Signs of increased resilience include improved self-confidence, better problem-solving abilities, adaptive coping strategies, greater independence, and a more positive outlook despite challenges.

    Scroll to Top
    Scroll to Top