Friday, March 11, 2011

Raising Resilient Kids

In an article written by Louisa Kamps in the December 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, it states that "People who end up being most successful in life are those who experienced some adversity in childhood and learned how to cope".  Below are four simple moves that will nurture a bounce-back kid, from John Scadina, a school psychologist and parent in City Island, New York.

1. Give your child the reins: When your child is talking about a tough situation, let her finish, then say, "This must be really tough." Pause. "What are you going to do about it?  The key here is to show you are tuned in by acknowledging the pain the child is feeling, but ultimately turn it back on your child to handle it.
2. Cast a vote of confidence: As your child formulates a plan, give your child a boost by saying, " see someone who is caring," or "...strong," or ...good at x, y, z." Reflecting the child assets back to their helps them realize they are capable of handling the situation, tough as it may be at first. "Say, I know you can handle the, but if you need help, let me know, says Scardina. "Then leave them on their own."
3. Create a gratitude list: Help a kid going trough a tough phase count his blessings and cultivate optimism: Have your family post a gratitude list of five to ten things to be grateful for.  The message: These good things in life are here to stay, regardless of challenging situations.  When your child is feeling low, remind him to look over his list.
4. Call in the professionals: If your child has hit a rough patch and experiences sleep or appetite disruptions or lethargy, or you notice a change in relationships with family and friends, it may be time to have a therapist step in.  Ask your pediatrician, family practitioner, religious leader, or school guidance counselor for references.


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