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Wednesday 26 August 2020

Help Your Children Build Resilience


Decades of research into resilience science has uncovered 12 promotive and protective influences of resilience in children. These are: having a caring family; having close relationships and feeling a sense of belonging; effective and skillful parenting; motivation to adapt; problem solving skills; self regulation and emotion regulation; self efficacy and positive view of the self or identity; having hope, faith and optimism; belief that life has meaning; having routines and rituals; engagement at school; and connections with the community (from 'Resilience in Children: Developmental Perspectives'). 

You'll notice that the first 3 are dependent on your parenting skills, the next 7 are knowledge and skills that can be taught to your children, and the last 2 are connections your child has with their school and community.

Islam plays a big role in children's resilience as well. Look at numbers 8 and 9. It's having hope, faith and optimism and belief that life has meaning. Allah says: 
"Do not lose hope and do not be sad..." (Quran, 3:139). 
We must have faith, trust and optimism that we can get through whatever comes our way. And we all know what the meaning of life is but do your children? It is to worship Allah and pass this test of life so that we can enter Jannah. Allah says: 
"And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient..." (Quran 2:155).
Make sure that your children have a firm foundation on Islam. (For optimism, read this article.)

Effective and skillful parenting requires that you keep communications open. Talk to your children from when they’re little. As they grow older, listen to them more.

Listen without judgement. Listen to their emotions. Sometimes their words and actions are covering something else. Ask yourself what emotion is coming through. Reflect this back. For example, they could be shouting but they’re not angry. It could be from frustration. Say to them “I can see that you’re frustrated at not getting your work done.” Once you can pinpoint the exact emotion then they’ll feel that you’ve understood them and they will calm down and open up to you. Just keep listening and reflecting until they’ve sorted out their emotions and maybe even what they’re going to do about it. 

If you don’t listen to your children then they won’t come to you with their problems.

Work on these 12 promoting and protective factors with your children. It may seem like a lot so download this checklist to keep you on track.

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