Emotional health and well-being are vitally important for raising a resilient child from a young age, as we discussed in the last article about childhood trauma. The good news is that there’s a way to help your child develop resiliency later in life – by raising an emotionally stable child. And we know what you’re thinking. How are you supposed to take this crazy, emotional, wild two-year-old and produce a mentally stable, resilient person? We promise you can get there and we’ve got some tips to help you out!
Tips for Raising an Emotionally Resilient Child
When looking to help your kid grow up strong and emotionally resilient, it’s important to realize that a lot of it starts with you. Creating an encouraging, open environment is a necessary foundation. Below are some ways you can begin creating a home life that allows your child to feel confident and comfortable in his or her own skin when dealing with traumatic events and setbacks.
- Take away the cushion – Bad things are going to happen, both in your personal life and around the world. Rather than letting your child constantly wear blinders, expose him or her to the things that go on in the world. Be there to comfort him or her, but don’t hide the tough stuff. Explain different angles of the hardship or tragedy and make sure that your child knows that you and others are available to talk through things and help him or her deal with it. We build resilience by learning how to handle difficult situations.
- Lead by example – Don’t shy away from any issues that you may have. If you struggle with a life setback or even a mental health disorder, let your children know about it. Explain to them how you’re dealing with these things so they can see an example of resiliency in action. Being open and honest about your reality will let your child see that difficult feelings and situations are normal, making them more comfortable to deal with similar issues in the future.
- Let them take risks – Yes, you are your children’s parent and it’s necessary to set boundaries and be an authority figure. However, you also need to remember that your children will be on their own one day. They need to learn how to take measured risks so that they can experience trials while you’re still able to guide and direct them. Encourage them to take well thought out risks, even if you think they’ll fail. If they succeed, it’ll help boost their confidence. If they fail, they’ll learn an important lesson in both decision making and resiliency.
Know When to Seek Help
Even when you do your best to raise a resilient, emotionally stable child, situations may arise when you’re out of your depth to help your kid cope. The best thing you can do in these situations is seek help early. Find a therapist that your child is comfortable with and teach him or her that there’s no shame in getting outside help. Don’t be afraid to visit a variety of different medical professionals until you find one that you’re child is comfortable with. Knowing that your child is able to talk freely will put your mind at ease.
Not sure where to start? Contact CBT Baltimore. We can help both you and your child achieve optimal mental health and resiliency.