Have you ever wondered why two adults who experience the exact same setbacks in life have completely different reactions from one another? One might bounce back pretty easily while the other seems to crumble under the hardships.
The answer lies in the amount of resilience that person has acquired which makes them respond positively to any adverse situation they face in their lives.
Although some people are naturally born more resilient, it is something that can be developed and learned through practice at a young age.
How to build resilience in kids during the pandemic?
The Covid pandemic has been hard on all of us but it’s been especially difficult on our little ones. Lockdowns have turned their routines upside down. They aren’t going to school. They aren’t able to play outside and socialize with their friends like they used to. And, their lives are filled with a whole lot of uncertainties.
As parents, we can help our children soothe their anxieties and teach them how to cope and thrive during these times by helping them develop their resilience. Here are 5 ways to do this:
- Acknowledge their feelings. Your children are going through a lot these days and rather than telling them that they shouldn’t feel upset, we should acknowledge their big strong emotions. Self-awareness is a big part of resilience so allow them to feel and then express those emotions to you, free of judgment and advice. You can also introduce new vocabulary related to emotions which will help them communicate their feelings more effectively.
- Maintain social connections. The pandemic has definitely changed the way we do things but that doesn’t mean that our kids have to stop developing their social skills. Parents can support their kids’ development and help build resilience by helping them maintain the relationships they have with their friends and families. Even though physical distance is required, kids can call, video-chat or e-mail their loved ones which will be good for their emotional well-being.
- Spend quality time together. Try to quality time with your children everyday where you are playing games, telling stories, talking about your day to one another, sharing meals or going out for a walk. Kids need to know that the adults and the caregivers in their lives are constantly there for them, despite all the things that are changing around them. The primary and most important factor for a child to bounce back from trauma or crisis is having a strong bond with the caring adults in their lives.
- Establish a routine. Kids need structure and predictability in their daily routines which have been greatly disturbed since the start of the pandemic. Again, things have changed but that doesn’t mean our kids’ requirements or needs are any different. Parents can still establish a routine for their kids such as the time they sleep, eat, learn or play. This will help children feel more organized and in control of their daily lives, and it will also ease the stress that they would feel in a haphazard environment.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Talking about our emotions is a great way to release the stress and anxiety that we are feeling. But, sometimes children are reluctant to voice their emotions because they are also just beginning to be aware of their feelings and how to communicate them. That’s when other techniques such as practicing mindfulness can really benefit our kids. Parents can incorporate mindfulness in their kids’ daily routines to help calm their anxiety and build their resilience. It doesn’t have to be too complicated and your kids can start by practicing how to center their thoughts and becoming more intentional about what they’re feeling. There are lots of great resources available online to help you get started.
The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy is a great place where parents and kids can learn about their emotional grid system, how to manage the BIG Emotions, learn to meditate and apply practical tools of application in the real world using proven techniques to arm them with the capacity to unplug in a plugged-in world.
For additional online resources on meditation for kids, please visit https://emotionalliteracyacademy.com/resources/guidedmeditation/ where you can find great tips and techniques for meditation with your children.
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About the Founder
Internationally Recognised Emotional Literacy & Mindfulness Expert Tenille Bentley is the founder of The Emotional Literacy and Mindfulness Academy and the author of the children’s emotional literacy books with Jazzy and Pinky and The Energy Ball. Giving children a wonderful introduction to understanding their emotions and what do with them.
Tenille has been featured on Channel 9 News and other major outlets. Her work has been recognised in the community by The Governor of Western Australia, The Prime Minister of Australia and Australian Financial Review.
As a child she experienced severe anxiety and emotional traumas as well as bullying which left her feeling isolated, and unable to understand why she was feeling the way she did. As an adult this impacted her ability to make healthy decisions because she didn’t have the tools to understand her emotions.
Which is why she is passionate about equipping parents with the tools to support their children to make better decisions in life and healthy ones to help support and create a balanced home life.