Parenting Tips: How To Raise Children To Be Successful & Resilient
We have all read the news about the mental health crisis affecting our teens but what do we do to protect them? In this video, I reveal seven character traits needed to raise successful children to be resilient.
The research is based off of Paul Tough's book, How Children Succeed, and is applicable to every parent. So, whether you are raising a infant, small child, teenager or young adult focusing on character development is a must.
Here are the seven character traits to focus on when it comes to raising your children to be successful:
1) Ambition- a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work
2) Professionalism- the competence or skill expected of a professional
3) Integrity- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness
4) Resourcefulness- the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties
5) Self-Control- the ability to control one's emotions and desires or the expression of them especially in difficult situations
6) Learned Optimism- being able to shift one’s thinking from a negative to a positive
7) Resiliency- the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness
What is especially interesting is the research on how to build resiliency in children. Here is short list of recommendations for parents based on the article Resilience in Children: Strategies to Strengthen Your Kids:
•Build a Strong Emotional Connection- spending one on one time with your children is invaluable in making them feel important, special and provides a base for self-esteem.
• Promote Healthy Risk Taking- "Do hard things" is the motto which teaches children courage, adventure and to confront uncertainty, doubt and anxiety with faith, work ethic and industriousness.
•Resist the Urge to Fix It and Ask Questions Instead- This technique is called "scaffolding" where you lead your kids to problem-solving versus giving them the answer. This allows your children to develop problem-solving decision making independently versus relying on you to help them. Too many parents "helicopter parent" and rob their kids of the ability to fix things on their own.
• Teach Problem-Solving Skills- Somethings can be taught while other skills should be "caught" via modeling. The next time you face a challenge, sit down with your children and walk them through the problem-solving process. Kids (and adults) tend to learn best by observing and doing versus lectures. Present the problem to them and ask for their internal processes and work through it together.
• Label Emotions- Emotions are to be felt, expressed and understood. Thus, it is a great idea to give our children an emotional vocabulary (e.g. "sad", "disappointed", "powerless", "excited", "nervous", etc.) so that they can express and work through difficult times.
• Demonstrate Coping Skills- Telling kids to "suck it up" doesn't work, especially when we fail to give them healthy coping skills to try for themselves. Allow your children to see you cope with doubt, stress, loss, envy, relationship issues and talk with them about what techniques they can employ. This sound obvious when you read it but how many of us have really done it? Well...now you know and your kids will be better because of it.
• Embrace Mistakes (Theirs and Yours)- It is a gift to model self-compassion to our children but admitting mistakes while accepting grace that we can change. Too many teenagers don't understand the idea of grace, forgiveness and Jesus dying for their sins. This lack of knowledge and relationship with Christ leads them to think toxic thoughts to punish themselves and others. Mistakes are apart of life and we must guide our children to admit them, embrace learning and grow without excessive, toxic guilt and anger.
• Promote the Bright Side- Every Experience Has One- This is called "learned optimism" where we literally teach our kids how persevere by finding the light at the end of the tunnel. This is an integral skill in allowing children to endure hardship by finding the optimistic view within a temporary problem. This skill alone can decrease depression, anxiety and build resiliency.
• Model Resiliency- Adult children often remember seeing how their parents endured and drew personal strength from it. We have the same opportunity. So, instead of shielding our children from our adversity, we have an opportunity to show them how we bounce back from financial issues, marital conflict, health challenges, lack of confidence, etc. This allows our children to see resiliency in action which with model the same in them.
• Exercise- Many people underestimate the power of exercise. Exercise builds strong habits, self-discipline and decreases stress. Medium to intense cardio work produces endorphins which serve as emotional pain relievers and increase stress tolerance. This is primary reason that I run before work on a regular basis. I have a stressful career at times and I have to prepare myself to excellent under duress. Exercise provides the same outlet for our children.
Please share this article with every parent you know because our children and teens deserve every tool available to combat the ongoing mental health crisis that is affecting us today. I pray this article both blesses and equips you with the tools needed to promote mental health in your children. God Bless!