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Be a Charismatic Adult and Raise a Resilient Kid (page 2)

Be a Charismatic Adult and Raise a Resilient Kid

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Updated on Aug 27, 2013

Involve Children in Problem Solving

Resilient people turn problems into problem solving. “Parents need to involve and include the child in solving problems,” Brooks says, adding that it’s hard to be resilient if you don’t know how to proceed when you have a problem. “Problems are there to be solved,” he says. “What we really want to do is show that you’re on your child’s side.”

Give Children Opportunities to Contribute to the Wellbeing of Others

Brooks has found that when people are asked about their positive and negative memories from school, their favorite memories always have to do with being asked to help—passing out the milk and straws, tutoring a younger student. “I think there’s an inborn need in children to want to help,” he says. And whether children have opportunities to contribute to the wellbeing of others determines their feelings of competence, and therefore their resilience.

Help Children Recognize Mistakes as Opportunities for Learning

“Resilient kids, if they fail a test or fall while dancing or strike out—what they feel is that there are adults out there who will help them figure out what to do next time,” Brooks says. In contrast, kids who are not resilient feel like every mistake is a rope around their neck that keeps getting wrapped around more and more. Brooks suggests that parents think about what they do when they make mistakes, and then think about what they do when their kids make mistakes. Instead of admonishing them, Brooks says, parent should ideally "go over and engage kids in problem solving.” One boy Brooks interviewed described it this way: “I wish my parents would be my defense attorneys instead of my prosecuting attorneys.”

Discipline with Positive Feedback and Encouragement

“I always emphasize for parents that one of the most powerful forms of discipline is positive feedback and encouragement,” Brooks says. “We have to catch kids when they’re doing something right and let them know it.” Brooks explains that people are more willing to take risks in life if they recognize rules and are able to self-discipline.

Though being mindful of these points on a daily basis is challenging, it could make a difference in your child's confidence level and resilience.

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