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Helping to Build Resilience in Children

College education has become a logical step in an individual’s life. However, not everybody is ready for this major transition and change. Some children are so overwhelmed by new experiences and being away from home that they don’t achieve academic success at college, are unable to adjust to the new environment and even decide to quit. It’s not a matter of intelligence or dedication. It’s a matter of resilience. Some parents choose to fight their children’s battles for them or unconsciously protect them from all the negative experiences and events in life. Consequently, this affects children’s ability to fend for themselves and cope with obstacles in life. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance for parents to help their children develop resilience from an early age. By helping your child become a resilient, strong and self-reliant individual while they’re still young, they will be able to overcome any obstacle they come across.

Let them learn from their mistakes

No matter how hard we try, we will never prevent our children from making mistakes. Nor should we. Even the simplest failures can provide them with valuable lessons, so you need to let them make their own mistakes. If you always help your child do the right thing, they won’t know what to do when they eventually do the wrong thing. And they will, we all do. Making mistakes will help them learn how to do things differently or how to react to and remedy the situation effectively. Mistakes are valuable experiences and depriving your child of those experiences will leave them unprepared and vulnerable.

Evaluate their coping strategies

Building resilience in your children entails helping them acquire proper coping strategies that will help them deal with difficult and stressful situations. This is particularly important for children who’ve had negative experiences during childhood and primary school, such as bullying, teasing, etc. Since they may have gone through some serious problems, they need to learn how to cope with these situations successfully and not let negative emotions overwhelm them. This will help them cope with and adjust to the new environment.
Resilience is also important if your child is a high-achiever who is trying to get into Cambridge University or some other prestigious college. Since competition is typically fierce and the admission and evaluation processes comprehensive and detailed, this can be a major source of stress and anxiety for your child. You should teach them healthy stress-management techniques, such as deep breathing, expressing gratitude, exercising and meditating. Dealing with the admission and, later on, the competitive college environment in a healthy way can prevent certain negative and unhealthy behaviours and habits, such as drinking too much, taking drugs, etc.

Stay up-to-date with their progress at school

Keeping up with your child’s success at school will provide you with deeper insight into their general academic performance. It will also provide you with an opportunity to discover potential problems early on and help your child overcome them. In addition, being actively involved in your child’s education offers numerous benefits, enhances their performance and shows that you value education. You should help your child stay on track in school by providing them with support, being a positive role model and motivating them to keep studying and working on themselves. However, you shouldn’t be too pushy because it can put your child under more stress. Instead, try to find the right approach and maintain open communication with your child.

Teach them to take care of themselves

Once your child goes off to college, they cannot rely on you to keep everything in order. They’ll need to take care of themselves, pay their own bills, do their own laundry and so on. It’s of the utmost importance that you teach your child some basic life skills before they go to college. From doing laundry to changing a tyre, learning these skills will help them be more independent and self-reliant. They will also feel more confident because they know how to behave in case of emergency or how to meet their own needs.

Say no to over-helping

Every parent wants to help their child, especially when they see them struggling with certain tasks and situations. Some parents offer their help even when their children don’t ask them for it. However, helping them with everything will render them incapable of overcoming challenges and achieving success on their own. In college, they’ll need to deal with tight deadlines, multitasking and extensive reports and papers, so if you keep helping them with their homework and school tasks, they won’t be able to deal with their college obligations on their own.
Over-helping your child can also affect their self-esteem. If you don’t let them complete their tasks on their own, they may feel as if you didn’t believe in them. Furthermore, if they get a high grade, it won’t be their success and effort, but yours, and they’ll feel that they don’t deserve it.

Helping your child become a resilient, independent and self-confident individual will put them on the road towards long-term success and happiness.

Author: Claire Adams

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