Building <b>Resilience</b> in <b>Kids</b> - (cool) progeny

Past blog entries of mine have touched on the topic of not over pampering our kids but I do not recall ever writing specifically on the subject of resiliency. Yet my fear is that it is something sorely lacking in parenting today and perhaps this blog is needed.

When my husband and I were raising our kids, we wanted to always stretch them. We wanted to push them. It didn't bother us really to see them in an uncomfortable situation or predicament and to see how they were going to solve their problem. We made our share of mistakes as mom and dad but I am thankful that somehow we had this tough parenting approach figured out as it has seemingly served our kids well.

Again....please don't receive this as a mom patting herself on that pack ...hardly. I am just both weary and concerned as I see more and more young parents wanting to prevent their precious offspring from ever experiencing ANYTHING challenging or out of their comfort zone.

The problem with that is life isn't like that.
Life is uncomfortable, it doesn't always feel good, it certainly isn't easy, and your kids have to deal with that.
Are you preparing them to do so ?
Or are you making everything soft and cushy ?
Are you pampering them ?

If you are, you are not making those kids to be RESILIENT !

 Parents, please remember this ...

~ Just because your child does not want to do something does not at all mean that they should not do that very thing.

    When Johnny whines that he doesn't want to try to ride his bike without training wheels , what do you say ? Do you soothingly say " You don't want to try ? - Oh okay, maybe another day "

   I pray that is not your response.

   Or do you say " Hop on that bike right now and start are going to surprise yourself "  And you know what ? LIttle Johnny may have a few spills ( which also is good for him by the way ) but after a few attempts he will be sailing along on his own and will be proud of himself for having accomplished something that he thought he couldn't do.

   Isn't that what good parenting is about ? God put us in these little ones' lives for a short time period to show, to lead, to guide, to encourage, to prompt, to push, to prod, to coach, to motivate, to teach, to BUILD RESILIENCY into them so that they will BE PREPARED for life on their own. He did NOT give us children to pamper them so that they are timid, afraid, unsure, weak , and fearful of life !

Here are some tips for building resiliency into those kiddos -

~ ignore crying and whining when your child is fearful of something and just calmly tell them that crying won't work
~ instead, remind them of how proud you will be of them when they conquer their fear and inhibitions
~ deliberately create uncomfortable or challenging situations for them that they have to solve on their own
~ never help or do for a child a feat once they know how to do it on their own ( even if it is tying their own shoes )
~ stretch your child in terms of physical endurance ( whether it is running a certain distance, climbing a rock wall etc )
~ Challenge them in academic pursuits - skills that you think may even think are at the very top of their skill level

 - and the most important thought is this ....

Last but not least , when they accomplish and succeed, make a HUGE fuss and celebration out of it ! Praise them, hug them, love on them, smile and laugh and rejoice with their achievement. This type of response balances out your tough , challenging approach as your child realizes that it is not impossible to please you at all.

And if they somehow fall short on any given attempt , STILL have the same response. In other words, your love, your affection, your approval is not contigent on success ....but just that they are who they are.

The lesson they MUST  learn however is that they must always, always TRY !!!

That is the key -
that they learn to NOT be timid
that they learn to NOT cower
that they learn to NOT retreat in fear
that they learn that mom and dad will NOT pamper them.
that they learn to BE ....


How are we doing in this area of RESILIENCY ?
I hope that as parents and even grandparents...that we are passing the test.
If we are, the ultimate winners will be our children and grandchildren.

...and isn't that what we all want ?