Are our children more resilient than we give them credit for?

Today we talk resilience with our Resident Anxiety Coach Sarie Taylor and ask if our children are more resilient than we give them credit for?

What are we actually talking about when we say resilience. Well, resilience is our ability to recover from any challenging situations, and the speed at which we do or don’t bounce back. We often wonder whether we will ever be the same again after we face overwhelm and stress. And as parents we particularly worry about the ‘damage’ that any of the challenging situations we face will do to our children.

Human beings are survivors by nature

We are not the same person we were yesterday. Everyone is a result of every day experiences, some good, some much more challenging, however we do manage these situations much better than we give ourselves credit for! The same goes for our children. You may not talk about your child’s lack of resilience directly to them. But when we are talking about our children’s anxieties, worry and stresses, we are talking about the opposite of resilience. Of course we don’t intend to highlight the negative rather than the positive, it’s often a habit out of fear and wanting to protect our children from everything. It’s so easy for us to fixate and focus on what we want to change. But this means we can also miss out on seeing what we do have and this only makes us an expert in our problems and worries. As human beings we are survivors by nature. It’s inbuilt in our system, and despite feeling uncomfortable when we are faced with change or challenges, we are OK and we do manage. Although as parents our children are our priority, we must also take care of ourselves. Only when we see our own strength and resilience, will we really see it in our children. We only ever see them through our own eyes, our perception. The more able we are to access our well being as adults, we will then see that our children are innately well too, regardless of their times of overwhelm. If we continue to point our children in the right direction, to see their capabilities and resilience instead of their stress and overwhelm, they will thrive, as will we.

Tips to consider:

  • Look for, and reflect on your own resilience as a parent. Be compassionate and loving to yourself particularly in times of stress which is just when you need it most. You are your biggest cheerleader, and what a great role model for your children to see that they too can show themselves compassion.
  • Talk openly and honestly to your children about how well they have managed despite the challenges they face. Rather than focusing on how anxious they may feel and trying to fix the ‘problem’, show them that even with those anxieties that they are resilient. Teach them what resilience is if they don’t know!
  • Normalise the fact that we will ALL have anxious thoughts and resistance to challenging situations, it’s OK. It does not mean we are broken, our feelings are only ever showing us where we are in any given moment, not WHO we are.
Check out Sarie’s other helpful blog posts here. Sarie Taylor is The Perfectly Imperfect Mind Mentor and is a qualified psychotherapist, specialist anxiety coach and founder of Sarie Taylor Coaching