Parent Resource Guide: Resilience

Resilience can be a complicated and layered word for anybody, no matter their age. Hopefully these hands on tools and practices help your child learn and live out resilience in their hearts everyday. 

 

Much of resilience research notes that it is important for a child to:

  1. Feel the love and support of a parent

  2. Have a diverse group of friends

  3. Have at least one other adult, outside the family, to support the child through difficulties

 

Some of these things are difficult to include in your child’s life with social distancing, but perhaps focus on the family unit aspect and the ways you can support your child. 

 

Article

 

How to Let Your Children Learn From Failure- Dianne Tavenner 

Excerpt:

“While the basic idea of learning from failure is supported by evidence, the sink-or-swim method doesn’t really work. Failing is only productive when two things are true: first, the person who fails actually learns something from it and is thus motivated to try again, and second, the failure doesn’t permanently close future doors.”

 

Meditations/ Rooted Practices 

 

Wiggle Meditation

Ages 0-4 

I wiggle my fingers. [wiggle fingers]

I wiggle my toes. [wiggle feet]

I wiggle my shoulders. [wiggle shoulders]

I wiggle my nose. [wiggle nose]

Now no more wiggles are left in me, [leader sits down]

So I’ll be as still as still can be.

 

Perhaps your child is feeling agitated and having difficulty articulating their body sensations of frustration, failure or fear. Engaging each part of the body can release anxiety and reassure your child that you are there to guide them through discomfort.

Rubber Band Meditation

Ages 4+

Let your child choose one or a variety of rubber bands/hair elastics to keep on their bedside table or in a special place in the home. Each night, allow your child to stretch the rubber band, and ask them this question:

 

When was one time today you felt stretched and had a hard time dealing with a problem today?

 

Let them explain all their emotions and feelings that came up in this challenging situation. 

 

Explain to them that just like the rubber band returns to its normal size after being stretched, so will they return back to a resting state of peace and calm. 

 

There is also a lot for your child(ren) to learn if the rubber band shoots across the room, into their face or is lost. Take these moments of surprise, shock, humor or distress to note the parallels to their own lives: 

-sometimes life’s difficulties make us feel like hiding

-or make us go “BOING” because they come so suddenly and we don’t expect them 

 

Talk about what helpful skills can give them bounce throughout the day. Encourage them to recognize their emotions, reach out and have self-compassion. Use the word bounce with your child throughout the day in difficult situations. 

 

Leading questions to figure out what techniques fit your child best:

-ask which people they can reach out to in those moments to share their emotions and frustrations?

-what is a calming activity to do after?

 

Always end the conversation with the reminder that you are there for them in those moments of distress.


 

Music/Videos/Stories

 

Visit the Kids Page:

 

 

Everyday Resilience Responses: 

 

You might also want to use the following phrases to cultivate compassionate resilience within your family:

  • Life feels really hard right now, but I know it won’t always be this way. Tomorrow is a new day

  • It’s important to listen to your body and give it what it needs.

  • It’s OK to say No.

  • All your emotions are valid here, you are safe to express your emotions in our family.

 

Get Curious!

Discuss with your child something that they have always wanted to do but were too scared to try because they thought they may not be good at it. 

Parent Resource Guide: Resilience Part 2

Articles/Podcasts

Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us Podcast: Ask Me Anything 

Quest for Meaning Podcast- “Resilience as Spiritual Strength”:“One thing I’ve learned about the word “resilience” is that it initially came from the field of metallurgy, describing how certain metals when heated will lose their shape, but when cooled can amazingly recover their original form, resiliently. So we’ve come to define resilience generally as being “able to withstand or recover from difficult conditions,” which accurately makes it a reactive skill, often in response to external dynamics.

 

Raising Resilient Children

Books for Parents

 

Rising Strong- Brene Brown 

  • Buy at Mosaic Books, loan physical copy, e-book or audiobook at Okanagan Regional Library 

  • The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall. The author of Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending. Struggle, Brené Brown writes, can be our greatest call to courage, and rising strong our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom, and hope.

 

Resources

 

Whole-Hearted Parenting Manifesto: PDF

Resilience & Wholehearted Living Worksheet

Spiritual Practices

 

Construct Family Resilience Centerpiece/Chalice Lighting:

  1. Choose a cloth/piece of fabric, a chalice/favorite candle, an offering box/bowl, a way of sharing Joys and Sorrows (candles or rocks in water).

  2. Let you child’s creativity run wild while decorating your sacred space to represent resilience:

    1. Twigs and Rocks

    2. Sand tray/houseplant (for Grit)

    3. Paper People Chain or photo of church community/family

  3. Say these words:

    • “In this quiet place of beauty we promise to be kind and gentle with ourselves. We are doing the best we can and that is all we can do. We are supported and will support others with kindness

  4. Share Joys & Sorrows of the day or week . 

  5. Chalice Lighting “We light this chalice for the warmth of love, the light of truth and the energy of action.” 

 

Outdoor Resilience: Go outside, if possible, and find some challenges for the children to try themselves. These might be challenges which take a little effort, and include some failed tries, such as balancing on a board, climbing over a table or monkey bars, swinging, skipping, hopping. Invite the children to encourage each other by saying “Keep trying!”

Everyday Resilience Responses

 

You might also want to use the following phrases to cultivate compassionate resilience within your family:

  • Life feels really hard right now, but I know it won’t always be this way. Tomorrow is a new day

  • It’s important to listen to your body and give it what it needs.

  • It’s OK to say No.

  • All your emotions are valid here, you are safe to express your emotions in our family.

Grounding Exercises are a fantastic resource to calm a child’s immediate nervous system reaction to then better articulate their emotions.

Meet Our Minister
 
Rev. Danielle Webber is a third-generation UU, growing up in this tradition.  She decided to become a minister in 2012 while completing a Bachelor’s of Art in Psychology and Religious Studies and completed the Masters of Divinity in 2016. Rev. Danielle is an eloquent and relatable speaker. She delivers genuine and inspiring services week after week. Find out more about Rev. Danielle here. 
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