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In today’s time, when people hardly have any patience or tolerance, resilience can mostly be found in kids only. Their heart, mind, and soul are like a clean slate, and they barely have grudges with anyone. Children who are resilient are able to manage their emotions when faced with any challenges and are able to endure hardships. They’re able to overcome adversity as they are very well aware of their feelings and know how to regulate them. Because things do not always go according to the plan, resilience allows children to cope with that.

Truly resilient children have the following characteristics

  1. Competence – they are able to use relevant skills, knowledge and judgment required for a particular task, they know what they’re capable of and proficient at.
  2. Confidence – having confidence is incredibly important for children. When they feel confident about their feelings and thoughts, they will be able to express their view without any hesitation. At the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin, scientists tracked down that higher certainty straightforwardly relates with expanded sensations of expectation, viability, confidence, and versatility.
  3. Sociable – resilient children are very friendly and they can connect with people easily. They often form a strong bond with their peers, siblings, parents, and teachers.
  4.  Morality – children are actually born with a rudimentary sense of morality. Ongoing investigations from Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center show that kids as youthful as 90 days normally show a solid inclination for plush toys that demonstration “pleasantly” over the people who act “cruelly.” That implies they normally have the impulse to do the “right” thing.
  5. Ability to cope – a truly resilient child is able to cope and manage their emotions. At first, resilient children come face to face with a challenge and feel agitated or frustrated which a normal human reaction but later they try to use their knowledge and the available resources to overcome that challenge. 
  6. Self-control – self-control is necessary for every child to have from their early childhood. Resilient children have good self-control and they’re able to control their unreasonable wishes and desires. They’re able to understand what they really need and what can be left for later. 

Lack Of Resilience

Children who are exposed to trauma or tragedy are less likely to develop resilience. For example – the death of a loved one, physical/mental/emotional abuse, an authoritative attitude of the caregiver, etc. These traumas adversely affect the mental and physical health of the child and hamper their growth and development. Resilience, in this case, is quite impossible for children to have. They’ll have difficulties in forming an attachment to caregivers, they’ll become fearful of strangers, have anger issues, low academic performance, will hardly have any goals in life, have risk-taking or self-destructive behavior, and adopt a negative viewpoint of people and society. 

Lack of resilience in children can adversely affect them. Being aware of one’s own emotions, thoughts, capacity, capabilities, and skills is incredibly important for children. Their failure in taking responsibility for their feelings can have detrimental effects on their mental health. They’ll fail to establish social connections, they’ll victimize themselves, they’re likely to develop aggressive behavior, they won’t embrace their mistakes, remain hopeless, unable to give names to their feelings, lack empathy and sympathy, become forgetful, they cannot be trusted with responsibilities, become less expressive and assertive, they might isolate themselves and they’ll find themselves trapped when a challenge occurs. 

Some strategies for parents to help their children become resilient are:

  1. Making connections – help them interact and communicate with people. Ask them to make friends in school, in the neighborhood, in classes etc.
  2. Encourage helping behavior – ask them to help others even if they don’t help them in return. They can start by sharing their stuff with others and help their friends in studying.
  3. Name their feelings – help them understand their own feelings. Start by sharing your feelings with them. Help them relate to your feelings and talk about their own.
  4. Time management – teach them the importance of time and suggest ways to save it. For example – ask your child to first finish his homework and then play. This way the child will try to manage his time and priorities.
  5. Validate their feelings – tell them you understand them, appreciate their efforts and listen to their complaints. This will help in building trust between you and your child. 

Hence, resilience is genuinely a good trait in children, it makes them stronger and ready for the upcoming challenges in life.

Article by: Dr Rachna Khanna Singh

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