With the school year starting, children may feel anxious and pressure knowing
increasing expectations are just over the horizon. Often times we see
our kids become more emotional, show unfamiliar behaviors or develop imagined
illness that keep them home from school as a means to deal with the stress
that they experience.
Watching our kids struggle through the school year can leave a parent feeling
protective and helpless. A parent’s response can make the difference
between a child building reliance vs believing they are failures. Resilience
comes from learning through tough experiences and picking yourself up
and trying again. Below are a few tips in raising resilient kids.
Empathize with your child’s feelings
Children will experience a large array of emotion through the school year—both
negative and positive. While it is hard to watch our kids go through bigger
emotions they don’t need parents to fix it; they need empathy and
understanding. It’s OK for children to experience frustration, disappointment,
sadness and more. Empathizing with them and allowing them to go through
their process will increase their emotional fitness for the future.
Coach instead of fix
Children face multiple challenges and make mistakes every day. Sometimes
parents have the natural tendency to swoop in and intervene, instead of
allowing their kids to work through it. Constant intervention from parents
prevents learning while decreasing self-esteem. Your job is to support
your children, instead of doing for them. Simple open ended questions
such as, “How well does that work for you?” or, “What
would it take to accomplish that?” can help them make their own
decisions and get them on the right path. In addition, helping your kids
structure their tasks can help them set a firm foundation to do their work.
Encourage, encourage and then encourage some more
Children need encouragement through the school year to help them feel
positive, motivated and focused. It also helps them develop a positive
inner voice that will stick with them through a lifetime, which only strengthens
their ability to get back up when life knocks them down.
Building resilience is a process and is developed through learning to manage
the experiences we face on a daily basis. Stepping back, giving your kids
some control and supporting them through life’s challenges will
help build that ability to bounce back and successfully meet the demands
that are placed on them.
Karissa Morris is a Provisional Professional Counselor (PPC) in the Campbell County Medical Group
Kid Clinic, a school-based
pediatric clinic in Gillette, Wyoming. The medical clinic serves children ages 2
weeks to 18 years old; and counseling services for children 4 years old
to 21 years old. It is located at 800 Butler Spaeth Rd., across from St.
Matthew’s Catholic Church. The Kid Clinic is open Monday-Friday
from 8 am-5 pm. For more information, call 307-688-8700 or visit
The Kid Clinic is a collaborative effort between Campbell County Health and
Campbell County School District.