Resilience—the ability to withstand adversity—is an essential life skill.
If one has it, you can almost be sure they’ll turn out just fine.
So if you’re a parent, it’s understandable that you’d want your kids to be a little more resilient.
To help you along, in this article, I will give you 12 habits of parents who raise resilient children.
1) They lead by example
The best way to teach resilience is by showing, not merely telling.
Parents of resilient children constantly show their children just how strong they are by not giving up in times of crisis.
Sure, they shed a tear or two, but they don’t resort to self-pity and negativity.
Instead, they’ll lick their wounds, rise up, and try again— always with a brave face and a positive disposition.
2) They make their children feel safe and supported
Trauma and hardships can make some children tough. But of course, you wouldn’t want to give your children scars just so they “toughen up”, would you?
If you want to raise them well, you have to make them feel extra safe and protected.
That’s why parents who raise resilient children create a soft cushion for their children to land on if ever they fall. They make them feel safe and secure.
That way, their kids will develop the courage to take life’s challenges because at the end of the day, they have a safe space to go back to.
The more safe a child feels, the braver and more resilient they become.
3) They teach delayed gratification
Since their kids were little, parents of resilient children have been training them to delay gratification as much as possible.
They teach them to do their homework before they go out to play. They teach them to choose what feels right instead of what feels good.
Of course, they don’t overdo it. Depriving a kid too much will have negative consequences, after all.
4) They allow their children to commit mistakes—lots of it!
Instead of making sure their children won’t commit mistakes, they’ll encourage them to make lots of it, as long as it’s not the truly destructive kind.
They know that it’s the best way to learn. And, of course, the best way to be a little more resilient.
This makes children immune to failure and even sees it as just a normal part of any endeavor, making them more prepared for the challenges of adult life.
5) They let their children figure things out on their own
Even if they make their children feel safe and supported, they don’t overdo it.
They don’t always rush to rescue their children at the smallest sign of discomfort or danger. They’ll instead try their best not to get in the way of their kids’ learning.
They let them experience life with all its small and big inconveniences…and let them figure out how to get out of any mess.
They know that if we always do the things for our children, they’ll never learn. And if we always rescue them, they’ll never be resilient.
The good thing is that this doesn’t just make their children resilient, but resourceful and wise as well.
6) They praise courage and strength, not perfection
Parents of resilient children are not too concerned with achievements or getting things right.
They’re more focused on their children’s character.
If their child has failed several times, instead of pointing out that they’ve repeatedly failed, they will praise how many times they tried again.
For parents of resilient children, it’s the child’s ability to go on and try again that deserves a big applause.
7) They see setbacks as part of life
Parents of resilient kids have normalized setbacks so much that it’s just become a regular thing that has to be dealt with.
When setbacks come, they deal with it calmly. And if it’s something that can’t be resolved, they move to Plan B, C, D, E…
And if things don’t really get resolved, they accept and move on.
8) They ask “What’s the lesson here?”
Whenever their child is in trouble, they don’t scold them or panic with them. They won’t even give them a long lecture, either.
Instead, they’d use it as an opportunity to perform a good exercise on resilience.
They train their children on how to turn adversity into a blessing—by looking for the nugget of wisdom in every situation.
So when their child loses their school ID, for example, they won’t react too harshly like they just lost a million bucks.
They’d say, “okay, what’s done is done”, and they’d ask “So…what can we learn from this experience?”
9) They regularly teach their kids self-soothing techniques
Challenges become a lot less challenging if we know how to calm ourselves down.
And that’s why parents of resilient kids introduce their kids to self-soothing techniques. The thing is, it can really vary depending on the kid and their age.
So they make sure they guide their kids to find the one that’s most effective for them. This alone can have a big impact on how they experience challenges in life.
10) They teach problem-solving skills
We all want to be problem-solvers, but you gotta have skills to be one.
Parents of resilient children teach their kids problem-solving skills as early as they can, at any chance they get.
Whenever they’re facing a difficult situation, they ask their children “So what are the possible solutions here?”, and encourage them to come up with their own solutions, and examine which one works best.
11) They don’t shame them for giving up or asking for help
Resilience doesn’t mean never giving up even if it’s the wisest thing to do—that’s just pride.
And it surely doesn’t mean turning down any kind of help just to prove they are strong.
There’s strength in humility and acceptance. And parents of resilient children don’t forget to remind their children of that.
12) They show their soft side
Parents who raise resilient children aren’t scared to be vulnerable in front of their children.
If they have financial problems, for example, they won’t try to pretend to their teen children that everything’s fine. They will share it and even share that they’re worried about it.
They want to show that real strength doesn’t mean you’re made of steel, but that you’re willing to fight a good fight…and so they get scared, sure, but they will fight a good fight!
If you want to raise resilient children, it’s easy. You simply have to do the things mentioned in this list.
And if you’re overwhelmed, just start with the most important one—by showing you’re a resilient person yourself.