How can parents help their children to manage and overcome stress?
The answer is resilience, according Barry Fell, an adolescent therapist and personal friend of mine. So to help our children overcome stress, we must first help them develop resilience.
Here are eight ways to do just that, according to Fell:
- Give your child as much responsibility as they can handle. Chores, taking care of themselves, making healthy choices on their own.
- Encourage age appropriate independence. Don’t do for your child what they should be able to do for themselves.
- Let your child experience appropriate natural consequences. This includes skinned knees, loss off friends stemming from bad behavior, and poor grades in school.
- Spend time with your child doing hard things together. Like a hard hike together, going to a funeral together, doing something you’ve never done before together.
- Recognize that resilience is not black and white. Stretch them in areas where they experience low resilience.
- Resilience is 10% talking, 90% experiencing hard things. Let your child experience things that will stretch them.
- Expect your child to complain when they’re being stretched. This is where they can develop emotionally resilience.
- Limit things that create instant gratification. This includes personal technology, handheld devices, access to streaming media, and frequent log offs. Remember that all technology is a privilege not a right.
As Neal A. Maxwell once said, “Those who do too much for their children will soon find they can do nothing with their children.” Good luck.