7 Ways to Practice Resilience With Your Family
During this prolonged period of crisis our youth need us to practice and model resilience more than ever. How do we do that when it’s increasingly harder to access our own inner resources? Chunking it down, then scaling it up may help.
What do we mean by that? Take it one step at a time. Set an intention to focus on one resilience building block each week and invite your family to do the same.
The American Psychological Association’s building blocks of resilience provide a framework for intentionally building resilience - and the We Are Raising Resilience Together pledge invites you join a collective movement to lift each other up as we individually move through these steps during this difficult time. Take the pledge today as a show of intention and share it with your family, friends, and neighbors. Connect (virtually, of course) to share what’s working and what you need help with.
Raising Resilience is providing tools via CONNECTIONS CAFÉ, the Parent Corner Blog, and social media to help you practice these steps. We encourage you to carry these tools into your home and engage your child/teen/young adult in the process of building resilience by carving out time to ask them the following questions:
HOW DO YOU…..
1. Make CONNECTIONS?
Aside from engaging and connecting with their peers it’s also important to “build a strong family network. Connecting with others provides social support and strengthens resilience.”
Action: Make a go to list of supportive friends, peers, and family members you can connect with. Identify who you can go to if you are struggling. Include local wellness, mental health, and healthcare providers who provide services you may need to access.
2. Keep things in PERSPECTIVE?
“How you think can play a significant part in how you feel. You may not be able to change a highly stressful event, but you can change how you interpret and respond to it.”
Action: Get curious and learn about other people’s stories and how they handle obstacles. Recall a time you overcame a difficult situation or circumstance. What worked? What didn’t?
3. Maintain POSITIVITY?
“An optimistic and positive outlook can enable children to see the good things in life and keep going even in the hardest times… life moves forward after bad events, and the worst things are specific and temporary.”
Article: Resilience guide for parents and teachers (apa.org)
Action: We’re not referring to toxic positivity. Find something positive to focus on or express gratitude for every day. We can hold both hard things and positive things at the same time. We need positive things to balance out the hard things.
4. Engage in SELF-DISCOVERY?
“Tough times are often when children learn the most about themselves… Help your child take a look at how whatever they’re facing can teach them ‘what am I made of.’”
Action: Journal the journey and take note of its impact from screen-time to social issues and beyond.
5. Cultivate ACCEPTANCE?
“Allowing things to be as they are can be difficult when we are in the very human state of being resistant to our own reality. Acceptance is not about apathy, resignation, or giving up; it may mean that you consciously acknowledge an unpleasant reality…. Human life includes limitations. When you practice acceptance, you loosen your grip on how you think your life should be, and open into the full flower of your life as it is.”
Action: Normalize how difficult this is. Shift away from what it “should” look like to be fully present and prepared to move forward as you navigate what is (rather than what should be).
6. Practice SELF-CARE?
“This may be making more time to eat properly, exercise, and get sufficient sleep. Make sure your child has time to have fun and participate in activities they enjoy. Caring for oneself and even having fun will help children stay balanced and better deal with stressful times.”
Action: Make a list of the self-care practices that resonate most with you and are easy to access when you need them most.
7. Hold HOPE?
“Hope is the belief that your future can be better than your past and you play a role in making it so. Hope refers to our ability to develop pathways (waypower) or mental strategies that will help us achieve our goals and apply our agency (willpower) to these pathways. Dr. Seuss had it right. It is all about our choices, goal setting, and goal achievement before, during, and after adversity.”
Action: Recognize that solutions are unfolding and that things will get better.