How to Raise Resilient Kid: 8 Tips To Make Them Unstoppable

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Written By Olivia Miller

Author at Montessori Expert.

Remember the sinking feeling in your gut when your toddler tripped and scraped their knee on the playground?

Or the pang of disappointment when your teenager didn’t make the soccer team?

It’s natural to want to shield your kids from these moments of hurt. But what if there was a way to help them bounce back even stronger?

The truth is, failure is an inevitable part of life.

But it doesn’t have to be a roadblock. By nurturing resilience in your children, you can equip them with the tools they need to navigate challenges, learn from setbacks, and keep moving forward.

What Makes a Kid Resilient?

mother and son playing with wooden blocks in the living room

Resilient kids share some key characteristics:

  • Strong sense of self-worth: They believe in themselves and their abilities, even when things get tough.
  • Positive outlook: They tend to see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Problem-solving skills: They can brainstorm solutions and find creative ways to overcome obstacles.
  • Healthy coping mechanisms: They know how to manage their emotions in a healthy way, like talking things out or taking a calming breath.
  • Supportive relationships: They feel loved and accepted by their family and friends, which gives them strength.

How to Raise Resilient Kid

We explored the key characteristics of resilient kids. Now, Here’s how you can start fostering resilience in your kids:

1. Celebrate Effort, Not Just Achievements:

It’s easy to get caught up in praising achievements like good grades or winning a game.

But what about the hard work and dedication that goes into those accomplishments?

Shift your focus to celebrating the effort your child puts in, regardless of the outcome.

How to do it: Instead of simply saying “Good job on your test!”, try something like, “Wow, you studied so hard for that test, I can see your dedication paid off!” Phrases like this show your child that their hard work matters, win or lose.

Why it works: When children feel valued for their effort, they’re more likely to persist through challenges and develop a strong work ethic.

2. Let Them Make Choices (With Limits):

an mother and daughter looking at clothes on a rack
an mother and daughter looking at clothes on a rack

Empower your child by offering age-appropriate choices throughout the day.

This could be something simple like picking out their breakfast cereal or letting them decide which book to read before bed.

As they get older, gradually increase the complexity of the choices they can make.

Why it works: When children feel a sense of control over their lives, it fosters independence and builds confidence in their decision-making abilities.

Example: Instead of dictating what to wear every day, offer your child two outfit options that fit the weather and occasion. Let them choose which one they prefer.

3. Help Them Learn From Mistakes:

Mistakes are inevitable, and they can be powerful learning opportunities.

When your child makes a mistake, resist the urge to jump in and fix it.

Instead, use it as a chance to guide them through self-reflection.

How to do it: Ask open-ended questions like, “What happened?” or “What could you do differently next time?” Work together to brainstorm solutions and offer support as they try again.

Why it works: By taking ownership of their mistakes and finding solutions, children develop problem-solving skills and learn valuable lessons from setbacks.

Also Read: Things Never Tease Your Child About

4. Normalize Disappointment:

a mom and her child sitting on a couch with a teddy bear

Life throws curveballs, and it’s okay for your child to feel disappointed when things don’t go their way. Validate their emotions by acknowledging their sadness or frustration.

How to do it: Say things like, “I see you’re feeling sad you didn’t win the game,” or “It’s okay to be disappointed that you can’t go to the party.”

Why it works: Suppressing emotions can hinder healthy development. By normalizing disappointment, you create a safe space for your child to express their feelings and learn healthy coping mechanisms.

5. Encourage Risk-Taking:

a group of children on rollerblades

Stepping outside their comfort zone is crucial for growth. Encourage your child to try new things, even if there’s a chance they might not succeed.

Celebrate their courage for taking the leap, regardless of the outcome.

How to do it: Sign them up for a new sport or activity class. Let them choose a challenging book to read, or encourage them to ask a question in class, even if they’re worried about being wrong.

Why it works: Embracing risk-taking builds confidence, fosters a sense of adventure, and teaches them valuable lessons about perseverance.

6. Teach Them About Growth Mindset:

Our brains are like muscles; they get stronger with practice. Help your child understand that intelligence and abilities are not fixed but can be developed over time with effort and dedication.

How to do it: Use everyday situations to illustrate the concept. When they struggle with a math problem, explain that their brain is making new connections, and with practice, they’ll master it.

Why it works: A growth mindset fosters a “never give up” attitude. Children are less likely to get discouraged by challenges and more likely to see them as opportunities to learn and grow.

7. Model Resilience:

We all face setbacks, and your child is constantly watching how you handle them. Be open about your own struggles and how you overcame them.

Share stories of times you failed but learned from the experience.

How to do it: Talk about a time you didn’t get a job you wanted or a project you worked hard on didn’t turn out as planned. Explain how you dealt with the disappointment and what you learned from it.

Why it works: Seeing you navigate challenges with resilience teaches your child valuable coping mechanisms and shows them that everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we bounce back that truly matters.

8. Build a Strong Support System:

a family sitting on a couch together

Strong social connections are a critical buffer against life’s difficulties.

Help your child develop positive relationships with family members, friends, mentors, or teachers who can offer encouragement and support when they need it most.

How to do it: Encourage playdates with friends, get involved in your child’s school activities, or help them find a positive role model they can look up to.

Why it works: A strong support system provides a sense of belonging and security, which empowers your child to face challenges head-on, knowing they have people who believe in them.

Also Read: What Are Some Positive Words You Can Say To Your Kids

Conclusion

Raising resilient kids isn’t about creating invincible superheroes.

It’s about nurturing the strength that already resides within them. By fostering a growth mindset, celebrating their effort, and providing a safe space for their emotions, you’re equipping them with the tools to navigate life’s inevitable bumps and bruises.

Remember, the most powerful lessons are often learned through stumbles and setbacks.

As your child falls, picks themselves up, and tries again, you’ll witness the incredible resilience that blossoms within them.

Embrace the journey, celebrate their small victories, and watch them grow into emotionally unstoppable individuals, ready to conquer whatever life throws their way.

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