Updated: May 21, 2022
Do you know the most likely reasons why your child displays a lack of resilience? Understanding the major contributors to a lack of resilience will help you focus on what not to do or how you might be inadvertently preventing your child from being emotionally and/or academically resilient.
Overtime, a child will display a lack of resilience when we as parents/teachers:
Do too much for them! (Spoon feeding)
Taking over prevents the child from taking risks. This tends to be a common protective strategy for parents, but the problem is without exposure to reasonable risk or discomfort our children do not develop resilience. The issue here is the adult wanting to control the outcome and being uncomfortable with uncertainty themselves.
Do too little for them!
On the other hand, too much exposure to risk/discomfort and letting the child go through circumstances they are not prepared for alone can cause a lack of resilience in your child. The key is knowing and finding the right balance and this is what I show parents on the Resilience Module of our Parenting course.
Don't model emotional resilience!
When we ourselves lack emotional resilience, we don’t know how to show it or develop it in our children. Our children mirror our behaviour and so our inability to respond to a situation calmly in the present will rub off on the child. They say we can’t give what we don’t have so it’s time to learn how to develop our own emotional resilience.
Don't share our journey to success!
A lot of times, I’ve found that parents do all their hard work behind closed doors and don’t explicitly share their journey. We hide the ‘struggle’, the obstacles from our children so they don’t know that we had to overcome anything to get to where we are. We don’t model resilience so they think things come easy. The minute they are faced with an obstacle, they feel inadequate or overwhelmed.
Confuse coping with resilience!
This is a big factor in preventing children from developing resilience and it’s something that I explain in detail on the Parenting Course so parents can understand the difference between coping and resilience and how to stop confusing the two.
Confuse helping with enabling!
This is another confusion a lot of parents/teachers have. We are not sure where helping stops and where enabling begins. What is simply helping is confused as enabling but if we don’t help when help is genuinely needed, over time the child learns to give up due to being overwhelmed. The key is knowing when and how to help and when not to enable.
Judge instead of help!
This follows on from the previous point. When parents/teachers are quick to judge/label a child rather than offer appropriate help, the child develops a fixed mindset. I explain in detail how the way we relate to children can cultivate a fixed mindset instead of a growth mindset, contributing to a lack of resilience.
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