By Catherine Griffin

Today’s teenagers are going through plenty, from schoolwork stress to bullying and everything in between. But, when teens are resilient, they learn to cope better with life challenges and teenage issues. With it, they can “bounce back” pretty quick when things don’t go their way.

Young people (or everyone, for that matter) require resilience to handle life’s ups and downs better. So, cultivating resilience is a crucial part of teenagerhood development. It is a life skill that’s best honed at a young age.

What’s Resilience?

We get asked that a lot. Resilience entails the ability to “bounce back” when things go wrong or when we face a difficult situation. It one’s capacity to get back to feeling as good and robust as he or she felt before the challenge. It may also refer to the ability to get accustomed to challenging circumstances that you cannot alter, and keep on flourishing.

When you are resilient, you have the ability to keep your chin up in the face of adversity. This way, you can learn from challenging or difficult circumstances and get stronger while at it.

Importance of Resilience to Teenagers

Your teenage child needs these personal skills and positive attitude to help him/her “bounce back” from stressful situations like disagreeing with a friend, making a teen mistake, adapting to a new neighborhood or school, failing an important test, and so forth. Being resilient will also come in handy when your teen is facing more severe challenges such as divorce in the family, grave illness or death or aggravated bullying.

No matter how you look at it, resilience is a life skill that can help your child pull through challenges during her teenage years and come out unscathed. Besides, being resilient can help her as an adult as well.

For teens, being resilient is more than just coping with the difficult situation. Resilience helps them become more prepared to go after new opportunities and experiences. When they are resilient, teenagers are more likely to take more risks to realize their goals. Although risk-taking may come with its fair share of setbacks, it paves the way for success and builds self-confidence.

How You Can Help Your Teenage Build Resilience

How resilient a teen feels and acts can go up and down sometimes. She may be better at bouncing back from particular difficulties, but not others. In fact, some teenagers face more challenges than others because of disabilities or learning difficulties. The more obstacles one faces, the harder it is for her to be resilient.

Nonetheless, all teens can learn to build the life skills of resilience. More importantly, resilience for them is built on a pillar of robust, positive relationship with you as a parent. Also, they can draw inspiration and strength from other caring people in her life such as teachers, uncles, grandparents, aunts, and so forth. These stakeholders can act as mentors to instill resilience in your teen.

With that in mind, you can help your child build resilience and handle stressful situations better by giving them the chance to learn and practice essential life values and skills, including:

  • Social Skills

Social skills are fundamental building blocks for resilience. They encompass the right tools needed to solve social conflicts, make and nurture friendships, and team up with others. Social skills define how well your teen fairs amongst peers. When your kid is engaged in community service, art activities, sports teams, and has good relationships in and outside the school, she is more likely to cultivate connections and develop a sense of belonging. This, in turn, will help her build resilience without much hassle.

  • Self Respect

When combined with other positive attitudes and personal values, self-respect is an indispensable building block for resilience. It allows your teen to set standards for behavior. When she has self-respect, your child believes that she is important, and should be treated with the respect she deserves. With a great sense of self respect, she will more likely to avoid risky situations and protect herself.

Other resilience-building personal values include kindness, respect for others, empathy, honesty, and fairness as well as showing concern and care for individuals who need support, being friendly, and not bullying other people. All these make her feel good about herself, something that can build resilience.

  • Positive Thinking

Being resilient is all about thinking rationally, being realistic, and looking on the bright side of everything. Your teen needs to find the positives in life challenges even when things look bad. When your child is down, optimistic thinking will help put things into perspective. Besides, light humor can help her stay calm in the face of adversity.

  • Skills for Getting Things Done

As a parent, you cannot prevent difficulties and problems from happening to your child. However, you can help your teenager hone skills that are necessary to get things done as it forms the big part of being resilient. This helps develop crucial skills which include planning skills, goal setting, organizational skills, punctuality, and being self-disciplined.

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Written by Cathy Griffen.
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