a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, April 26, 2013

How to Raise Resilient Children----So They Can Bounce Back from Adversity

Can we all agree that life is full of challenges and trial? 
Can we agree that increasingly, society is presenting entitlement 
as a "right"? 

Can we help our children and ourselves find happiness and peace in the midst of this? 


We accomplish this by teaching Resilience. 

The original meaning of this word had to do with a material’s ability to resume its shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed. Today Resilience is commonly used to describe our ability to bounce back from adversity.

We need to teach our children how to deal with the small challenges that come their way. Many emotional problems develop when they have not learned how to do this.

 Unfortunately there are many adults who are unable to cope or move on when they are faced with problems. Maybe we, parents and other adults, can be helped by applying these same principles to ourselves---Simply insert “I” where “they” is used.

Resiliency develops as they understand and accept two facts:
1. There is usually opposition in all things
2. Obtaining anything of great worth often requires great effort and sacrifice

Acknowledging these two basic facts allows them to see life as it is---challenging and ever-changing:
this helps them believe they can cope with those challenges and changes
they view mistakes and weaknesses as opportunities to learn
they accept that losing may precede winning

As they develop resilience:
they begin to turn away from the “blame” game—accepting their mistakes or failures rather than trying to pass them off on others
they begin to learn they can influence and even control outcomes in their lives through effort, imagination, knowledge and skill
with this attitude they focus on what they can do rather than on what is outside of their control.
they learn to see great purpose and meaning in life and people—a sense of purpose will help our children avoid giving up, in spite of setbacks and pressure to do so
they develop deep values that guide them: love, virtue, integrity, honesty, work ethic, and faith in God.
they will involve themselves in what is happening around them and opt for commitment to values rather than feel alienated and avoid struggle

As Society Teaches Incorrect Principles We Come to Feel ...

Our worth depends on talent and performance.  In schools and communities, sometimes even at church or at home, youth see their peers get acceptance, admiration, approval and praise for being talented at something, so they try to measure up.

As they do so, they start to fear failure and mistakes. They choose what to do based on how successful they think they will be.

They procrastinate when they do not feel confident
They worry about what others will think if they make mistakes
They fear loss of approval
They view their performance as the measure of their worth
They feel a need for perfection which becomes a mean taskmaster, and it wears down their resilience

Helping Children Develop Resilience

Pray to understand your children’s strengths and how to help them with their weaknesses.
Be patient and realize that children need time to develop resilience.
Strive to understand that mistakes and failures are opportunities to learn.

I  thank Lyle J. Burrup, LDS Family Services, for his important article "Raising Resilient Children" in the March 2013 issue of The Ensign, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

You can read the complete article at


My next post will continue with his insights and the magazine's Recommendations for Raising Capable Resilient Children..

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