How To Make Children: 3 Tips for building resilient children

Ever think to yourself, “Toughen Up, Kid!”

Many of us grew up in a different time where parents did not caudle their children and were forced to be independent, entertain ourselves, and figure things out on our own.   Perhaps you were released into the front yard to play with neighborhood kids and were just expected to be home before supper.

This type of upbringing seemed to make us more resilient than the kids of today. The next generations of kids have car seats, helmets, and even cell phones that track where they are every minute of the day.   Gone are the days of your mom slamming the brakes too hard, and her arm was the only thing catching you from hitting the windshield.

You are not alone if you think that kids are too “soft” nowadays.  But why?  Surely the helmet they wear when they ride their bikes cannot be to blame for this generation’s lack of resiliency.

Ok, Ok, Yes, parents are much more protective today than in the past.   Safety is a priority, and shouldn’t that be a good thing?

So then, how do we create a balance between keeping our kids safe and making our kids resilient?  In my opinion, resiliency is built over time by focusing on Coping, Competence, and Connection.

Coping:  Children who learn to cope effectively with stress are better prepared to overcome life’s challenges.  Without coping skills, kids have meltdowns, and everything is a disaster.  When you were a child, you may have learned your coping skills on your own.  If you were thrown into learning how to cope independently, you might have also felt unsupported.

How To Make Children Resilient

How To Make Children Resilient

So, what can we do to help our children learn to cope if we do not want to throw them into the world to figure things out independently?  Here are a few of my suggestions.

  • Create a family environment where talking, sharing, and listening to each other is the norm. You want to create a safe place for your child to run to when things get tricky for them. When your child is in trouble and facing a difficult situation, you do not want your child to think, “oh no! My parents are going to kill me.”  Instead, you want your child’s first thought to be, “I need help. I need to talk to mom or dad.”
  • You can teach your child coping strategies that are proven to work. I am giving you a free PDF today called 20 Ways to Cope to help you with this. Go to to get this free download.   On this fantastic PDF, I have compiled more than 20 coping skills your child can try.  Remember, coping skills are a personal thing.  What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.   You may calm yourself down by taking deep breathes and listening to music, but that does not mean your coping techniques will work with your child.   Let them experiment with what works for them.
  • You can role model self-care and coping yourself. Those young eyes are always watching and learning from YOU.  If you cannot cope with your anger, frustration, or worry- then your child will not learn how to do it either.   Walking the walk and talking the talk is the best form of teaching your child resiliency.

Competency:  Competence is the ability to handle situations effectively. Competency is developed over time.   Children cannot become competent without first creating a set of skills that allows them to trust their judgments, abilities, and choices.  Competency is developed when they can trust themselves and begin to feel confident.  As parents, we can encourage our kids to develop competence by:

How To Make Children Resilient

How To Make Children Resilient

  • Help your child focus on their strengths. Guide your child to use their strengthens to their advantage as much as possible.  Show them that they can use strengthens to compensate for weaknesses.
  • Let your child make mistakes. Too often, parents do not let their kids fail or get hurt.   You love your child sooo much.  I get it!  Why would you allow them to fall, fail, mess up, or make a wrong choice?  Yet, protecting your child from the world can be a huge disservice.   How will they learn to deal with adversity if they have none?  Mistakes are an opportunity for learning and growth.   So, I encourage you to allow your child to experience appropriate emotional pain levels, frustration, anger, and sadness.   Validate feelings, and instead of eliminating the source of the pain for them- be there to help your child work through it.  Support your child in problem-solving. Allow them to talk to you about their feelings and how to guide them to come to possible solutions.   This is where learning magic happens.

Connection:  Connection is the glue that holds humans together.  Everyone, especially children, needs a sense of connection with someone else.  Children with healthy relationships with family, friends, and school are more likely to have a definite sense of security that produces strong values.  Connections also prevent children from seeking destructive behaviors.  A bond is powerful.   It provides a sense of belonging and security.   You probably already know the importance of having a strong connection with your child. Still, many parents do not know HOW to make authentic connections with their children- especially their teenagers.   Here are my tips:

  • Schedule a time and date in your calendar to do something one-on-one with your child. Yep, write it in your schedule, and do not just say you’ll do it this weekend.   Being intentional with your time and making it a priority in your schedule by actually writing it in and reserving the block of time will increase your chances of follow-through.  Then when the time comes to spend time with your kid one-on-one, turn off your phone, and do something that YOUR CHILD wants to do.  Let your child decide how they want to spend time with you.
  • Eliminate expectations. We expect so much from our kids, and expectations are the death of connection.   We expect our kids to be a certain way, like what we like, achieve specific goals, and when they do not live up to those expectations- they feel like failures, and the connection is lost.  I have a whole other video on connection at this link: and .  Both videos are quick and impactful!  Watch today!
  • Allow your child to express all types of emotions without consequence. Do not suppress their unpleasant feelings because they make you feel uncomfortable or think that their feelings are exaggerated or silly.  Give your child space to get those feelings out so they can move past them.
  • Do not ignore conflict and face it head-on. Ignoring conflict leads to resentment.  It would be best if you talked through the disagreement to get it resolved.   This process may feel uncomfortable, and it may peak at an all-time-high of frustration, but the only way to the other side of a conflict is through it.   You will be role modeling coping skills, listening, and conflict resolution along the way!  By facing conflict and not running away from it, you will be role modeling, teaching, and walking through the resiliency skills, you are trying to develop in your child.
  • To start you on your way to make a connection with your child, I encourage you to sign up for one of my FREE 30-Day challenges. These challenges help you start a new conversation with your child and break away from the boring questions you may ask your child every day, like, Do you have any homework or how was your day?  Start creating a connection with your child one question at a time with this link.

Coping, Competency, and Connection are the pillars of developing resiliency in your child.  There is no need to throw your child into the world without the skills they need to navigate diversity.  Remember that resilient children do not grow overnight.  Resiliency is learned. It is practiced. And it happens over time when children are faced with challenges, learn to cope, feel competent in their environment, and have created a connection with you to feel secure- just in case they need you.

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