Raising resilient children is crucial for their overall well-being and success in life. Resilience refers to the ability to approach challenges and change with a positive attitude and confidence in one's own abilities. However, children may experience a range of difficulties and stressors in their early years, such as falling in the playground, transitioning to a new school, or not being able to complete a task.
To help children develop resilience, it is important to teach them social and emotional skills, including coping skills. These skills not only help children cope with life's challenges but also make them happier individuals.
Why is resilience important? Resilience plays a crucial role in a child's development. Children who possess resilience are better equipped to handle difficult situations, they don't dwell on failures, they learn from their mistakes, and they move forward with a positive attitude. As a result, resilient children grow into resilient adults who are typically healthier, happier, and experience lower levels of depression. They also tend to enjoy greater success in school and work.
Building resilience in children requires both outside support and inner strength. Positive relationships and role models provide children with a sense of safety, love, and acceptance. On the other hand, self-regulation, critical thinking, confidence, positivity, and responsibility are key skills of inner strength that teach children that they can cope with difficult situations.
Montessori philosophy plays an important role in encouraging resilience in children. The Montessori approach emphasizes independence and self-correction. Children are encouraged to take on new challenges and solve problems on their own. This empowers children with the confidence they need to bounce back from accidents or disappointments.
Here are three ways parents can teach children resilience:
- Embrace the Montessori concept of “Help me to do it myself.” Don't take over when children struggle with a task, such as tying their shoes. Instead, let them learn through trial and error.
- Make time. Learning to become independent takes time and patience. Allow extra time in your daily routines to accommodate for your child's emerging skills of independence.
- Identify opportunities for independence. Create a list of things that your child can do for themselves, such as brushing their teeth, choosing their outfit, or tidying up their toys. Ask your child which responsibilities they feel they can take on. Embracing your child's independence is likely to increase their willingness to take on new challenges and build resilience.