It is an important life skill called resiliency. 

What is resilience? 

Resilience helps children and teens navigate and overcome stressful situations. When children have the skills and the confidence to work through problems, they learn that they have what it takes to confront future difficulties. The more they bounce back on their own, the more they believe that they are strong and capable. Being a resilient child includes managing stress, challenges, tragedies, trauma or adversity in positive and healthy ways. When children are resilient, they are braver, more curious, more adaptable, and more able to extend their reach into the world. The brilliant news is resilience can be nurtured in all children.


How to build resilience?

Resilience is something that can be developed over time. A combination of individual, family, education, community, and societal factors influence a child or teen developing resilience. Resilience in children is associated with higher positive emotions, a sense of personal control and predictability, self-esteem, motivation, and optimism. An early preventative measure is also recognising and seeking professional advice for any mental health and other factors that can affect building resilience for children experiencing anxiety, depression, or behavioural challenges. As a parent, carer, significant adult, or educator, you can help develop essential skills, habits, and attitudes for building resilience. A major part of this is encouraging children and teens to feel competent and confident in their ability to problem solve.

Tips for building resilient children and teens:

  • Praise specific achievements and qualities such as fairness, integrity, persistence, and kindness
  • Have realistic expectations of each child’s abilities
  • Increase exposure to people who care about them
  • Encourage mindfulness and emotional awareness
  • Promote positive self-talk, emotions, and perceptions
  • Encourage children and teens to trust their gut feelings
  • Avoid negative thinking and comments
  • Teach the importance of physical health and wellbeing
  • Encourage goal setting, responsibility and choice
  • Nurture executive functioning skills
  • Foster flexibility by trying different foods, cultures, social groups or hobbies
  • Help children and teens master a skill they enjoy
  • Expose children to inspiring people who have won against all odds
  • Teach gratitude. Grateful children and teens are more positive!


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What does resiliency look like in teens?

Teens that are resilient:

  • Work hard at school because they want to achieve
  • React in optimistic ways
  • View problems and difficult situations as challenges
  • Take positive risks and actions
  • Think of changes as natural
  • Go with the flow
  • Have high self-esteem, self-confidence, self-concept and sense of self
  • Thrive under challenging situations
  • Believe they can influence events and their reactions to events
  • Recognise with good stress comes growth
  • Have hope for their future
  • Overcome obstacles with confidence
  • Create goals and work at accomplishing them
  • Possess a keen sense of control over their life
  • Bounce-back from disappointments

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