Parents want to protect, solve problems, make everything right but does this encourage independent thinking, where children can resolve life’s challenges on their own? Will they fall apart when they first experience failure or disappointment? Emotional resilience helps children understand their strengths, think in a flexible, resourceful way, see things from the viewpoint of others, and thereby become more confident to cope with the ups and downs of childhood.
To develop resilience, listen, acknowledge and show empathy. Help them to name emotions they are feeling. Angry, unhappy, frustrated. Encourage perspective by marking problems on a scale of 1-10.
Support by saying if you could, you would solve their problem for them. Explain that is not possible on this occasion. Invite them to suggest what they might do to solve the issue. Only chip in with suggestions, if they are unable to come up with their own.
When coping with disappointments such as missing out on team selection, not securing a part in the school play, or feeling excluded amongst peers, ask first if these are your aspirations as a parent, or theirs?
Discuss personal ambitions with your child and how they might achieve them. What are other children are doing that is different? How might your child improve their skills, for example a holiday course or weekend workshops? How might they be ‘noticed’ next time? Ask the school for tips on how they might improve, to have a better chance of success.