Children that display resilience are more easily able to overcome challenges and struggles. Whereas some kids are devastated by minor setbacks, others are able to quickly “bounce back” and try again. These traits can be extremely valuable for students, both when facing academic difficulties and challenges throughout their lives. Here’s why building resilience in kids is important (and some tips on how to do it)!
Resilience goes hand in hand with confidence. We all want our kids to be motivated, happy individuals (both in their education and throughout life). As it turns out, students that exhibit these qualities are more likely to do better in school and hold a positive attitude towards education. Two of Tutor Doctor’s education consultants, Alison Parker and Lacey Frank, are both former teachers and have witnessed how important these traits can be in students. Recently, Alison and Lacey joined us to discuss building resilience on our podcast.
“[Some] kids feel like small failures are the end of the world,” Alison says. “Because they don’t have the ability to bounce back, their anxiety levels are just through the roof.” When students feel like they don’t have the tools available to them in order to improve, their confidence begins to decrease and problems may persist. To avoid this cycle of failure and disappointment, developing resilience allows students to brush themselves off, reevaluate the situation, and try again with a new strategy.
In many cases the best way to learn is to not succeed the first time. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, failure can be a good thing for students. After experiencing a discouraging setback, the process of accepting the situation, figuring out what went wrong, and developing strategies to improve next time is all part of building resilience.
“What we’ve found as parents and as former teachers is to allow them the opportunity to make their own choices, even if we know they’re not the right choices,” explains Lacey. “The best thing is to allow them to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes, and then help them through those choices.” Although our natural instinct as parents is to want to protect our kids from disappointment and failure, learning how to manage these situations effectively is the core of building resilience in children.
So why do experts recommend building resilience in kids at a young age? We want our children to begin developing these traits early on, rather than later in life when the stakes are higher. When students develop a growth mindset as children, they feel confident in their abilities to improve.
“It’s important for us to pass on the responsibilities to these students so they’re more empowered as they get older,” elaborates Alison. “They’re able to handle situations on their own. We’ve got to have open communication with our students and children starting at a very young age.”
One of the best ways to help your child build resilience is to exhibit it yourself. When frustrating things happen, remain calm and show them how a responsible person handles the situation.
“Teaching that resilience and modeling that for them also builds their confidence,” Lacey adds. “It allows them to face anything inside and outside the classroom that may not go their way.” As parents, modeling resilient qualities for our children empowers them to adopt these strategies into their own lives.