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A therapist’s guide to raising resilient kids (during a pandemic and more)

Covid has done a good job of highlighting the importance of children’s mental health.

Given the state of the world, many parents can’t help but stop and wonder how this is impacting our kids and their mental health.

Many parents, myself included, want to ensure their children will be resilient; we all want our kids to be able to bounce back or recover from the social, emotional and academic impacts of this and come out of this stronger and better equipped to deal with future challenges.

However, if you are anything like me, you have competing demands from work and home and despite wanting to be all things to your children you may be just trying to survive another day, making it hard to know if you are supporting them in their resilience.

A good place to start with this is to grow your own resilience.

Children see everything going on around them, the good and the bad, and they place a lot of weight on what they see from their parents. You are teaching resilience to them even when you don’t know it through things like good self-care, healthy habits, consistency, routine, structure, positive relationships etc.

Encourage and become comfortable with their emotions about what's going on in their life. You can do this by giving them undivided attention daily, a small consistent amount goes a long way. By encouraging, accepting, and validating their experience even if it doesn’t make sense to you, you help them name and understand their feelings. This helps children to understand themselves and be able to better help themselves when they are feeling big feelings in all areas of life.

By modelling a strong connection and support network for your child they learn resilience.

Children need to have at least one person who they can count to be there for them and be available to help when needed. To listen to them and validate their feelings. To be a consistent voice to show them they are loved, valued and supported no matter what they do, think or say.

Like many of us, it can feel hard to be the parents we want to be, or to change old habits but know that you are normal and building new skills in any area of life takes time and patience with yourself. Many of these skills are easy to say but hard to do. Even your children recognize this, they can see your efforts and appreciate them, even when things don’t go well at times.

At the end of the day, resilience is always connected to an individual’s environment, not to the child themselves. Work on the environment around them.

~ Laura

We're here if you want to talk :)

Take the first step and call us for an appointment for yourself or your child...(506) 651-1239

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