Does your child stay stuck in a bad mood for a long time or spiral out of control after an upsetting event? Accidents, fighting with friends and siblings, getting bad grades, peer pressure, bullying, and parental conflicts may all be part of growing up. Your child’s emotional resilience determines how he weathers and bounces back from upsetting events and affects his outlook on life and overall mental wellness.
What is Resilience?
Resilience is the ability to withstand and bounce back from stress and feelings that arise from upsetting and traumatic situation and events.
Why is Increasing Resilience Important?
Upsets, accidents, hurtful situations, and trauma are facts of life. You can do the best to protect yourself but there is no guarantee you can avoid it. When your child is more resilient, he will have more courage to try new things and experience new situations. He can remain curious to the world and hopeful about his future. If you are fearful as a parent, it might show up in your child as overly-dependent and anxiousness, or as resistance, controlling, and stubbornness.
What can you do about it upsetting situations?
- Stay calm – breathe deeply until you don’t feel triggered and reactive before you help your child. When you can stay calm, you will be more capable of seeing what your child needs vs. what you need.
- Show him that you’re okay with him feeling the way he does: acknowledge, validate, reflect, and validate some more. Stay with his feeling. Before he can feel better, he has to feel that you’re okay with him feeling this way. When you do, he will feel your support and will be more able to bounce back successfully.
- Model that uncomfortable feelings come and go: You can share with your child a similar experience that you had and how you know what the feeling is and show him that you figured out how to successfully move through it.
- The moment of emotional upset isn’t a good place to analyze whether your child was to blame and what the consequence should be. Wait until everyone has calmed down. A child’s thinking brain isn’t working so great when he’s feeling emotionally overwhelmed. He can’t process significant logical explanation on your part.
- Last but not the least, no matter what, hold the hope that your child will be healthy, happy, and live a fulfilled life. Stay connected to that hope and hold it in your parenting energetic field.
Stay tuned for next week’s post where I get into more detail and provide tips on how to support your child in developing emotional wisdom. Sign up for my newsletter for tips on building emotional wisdom in your children. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!