How to develop resilience in children and adolescents?

How to develop resilience in children and adolescents?

By: Nelma L. Ortiz Correa, MSW

Social Worker- SER Ponce

Resilience is defined as the ability to overcome adverse events, and to be able to have a successful development despite adverse circumstances (E. Becoña, 2006). In other words, resilience is a capacity that we have naturally, but it has to be worked on. So that, in difficult times, and in the face of painful experiences, we can emerge graceful and strengthened.

I think we can all agree that lately we have faced great challenges as a society, family and as individuals and beyond leaving our recovery to chance, we should be interested in how to overcome all of this. Pay special attention to children and adolescents on this issue, as they need the guidance of adults in order to become optimistic and successful individuals. Children and adolescents need to develop strengths and acquire assertiveness skills. They watch us, follow us and model us.

Certainly, we cannot completely avoid the ups and downs and the stress that life itself can throw at us. However, if we can commit to educate and be aware of our own actions and reactions in order to set the best example.

Here is a guide to important elements to develop resilience in children and adolescents:

  1. Self esteem: Children and adolescents must know their abilities. They must have confidence in them. We must point out his talents and give him the opportunity to manifest them without being judged or rejected.
  2. Control: Everyone in life requires discipline and control. In this way we manage to frame our actions towards our goals. We achieve focus, we have goals and we only go the way that leads to them.
  3. Connection: Ties and bonds with others are extremely necessary to feel safe, in addition to the feeling of belonging that is generated when we stay connected with family, friends and community.
  4. self knowledge: Children and adolescents should dedicate space to get to know each other. They must discover for themselves what their strengths are, their areas of opportunity, their tastes, their preferences.
  5. accept changes: Being flexible in the face of change can allow children to have a more positive attitude. Changes are part of life and children need to understand this. Sometimes it will be necessary to anticipate and prepare. In the face of unexpected changes, the reflection and evaluation of the alternatives could be done with the participation of the child so that he feels part of it.
  6. Help others: Children and adolescents should know about solidarity and cooperation. Helping others develops empathy and prevents individuality and isolation.
  7. Managing emotions: Recognizing and not judging emotions allow better management of them. Frustration, anger, fear, whatever the emotion, the child and/or adolescent must be allowed to identify it. Emotional intelligence must be put into practice at every opportunity that arises.

Let's not forget that we adults are the guide and support for our children and adolescents. Love, respect and understanding will be our best allies to develop resilience in them.



Photo by:  Alexander Ledogorov in unsplash