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Failure Lessons|08 September 2022

How to embrace failure & build resilience?

Written by Nivedita Garg
Founder of Joyful Parenting, NLP practisioner, YALE, Hardvard & UC San Diego certified personal coach with over 10 Years of experience in helping individuals beat stress and lead joyful lives

Do you remember the times when you were resilient enough to get up again, even though things were hard, sad and tough? Well, let’s face the truth, failure is a part of life and everyone has to face it. You as children went through it and probably still facing it, so it’s natural that your children will too.

As parents, its your job to help your children cope up with failure and normalise its presence in their life. Because the more you protect them, the weaker you make them. 

Children, in general, don’t have patience and resilience and often fall prey to depression and mental health problems. It’s due to the fact that they’re overly protected by their parents and do not know how oto face the tough realities of life. As parents, the best thing that you can gift them is to teach them to be resilient. This will allow them to finish what they have started and see things through the end of the tunnel. 

RESILIENCE is a very important and consequential life skill, which we take for granted. Let’s discuss how you can develop this in the children today by simple practical tips that will build a stronger youth.

What is resilience?

It is the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress. With resilience comes the potential to bounce back to one’s own feet. It can help your children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.

How to build it:

1. Build and maintain relationships.

When you are in a bad state of mind, the first thing you do is talk to someone who is near and dear and use their shoulder to cry on. However, to be able to do this, you need to have strong emotional connections with people. And this will happen when you will take the effort to build relationships. Let your children be a part of family outings & get togethers. Give them the platform to be able to listen to others and talk on different topics. It’s ok if they don’t converse, their presence is enough. This will allow them to have human connections and will teach them the art to open up and share. 

During festivities, start a ritual of calling family and friends to wish them. This will teach them the skill to pick up the phone and reach out. 

2. Create a hobby.

When we face a tough situation, we often fail to see beyond the problem. This not only makes it tough to get out of the situation, but also restricts your ability to look at the problem from a bird’s eye perspective. Meaning that when you take a step back and see the issue, the brain tends to find solutions faster. To be able to do this, you need to find some other activity as interesting. When children have a hobby, they will have something else they can fall back on. Inculcate this from a young age so they can make it a part of who they are.

3. Self-care

When they take care of themselves, they will be better equipped to handle stress. Self care could mean enjoying their meals, exercising, listening to music, looking at themselves in the mirror while getting ready, pampering themselves, doing things for themselves, so they can enjoy the feeling of wholeness and completeness. When they are their own best friend, they are stronger from within. This will give them the opportunity to discover their strengths and weaknesses as well.

4. Set doable goals and have big dreams.

When the children will accomplish the set goals, they will have a sense of satisfaction. It will give them the willpower to keep going. It teaches them persistence. Normally you and your children set big goals, and when they’re not achieved, there is a sense of disappointment. This keeps piling up and becomes a hindermace in their growth. Allow them to dream big and create small goals towards this big dream so they learn to take one step at a time. This also gives them scope to alter their goals and not their dreams.

5. Solve problems

Everyday there will be situations when things don’t go your way. Use these times to create a positive view and see how you and your child can turn that situation into something that will  empower you rather than pull you down. This will teach them the skill of solving problems rather than brooding over them. Have longer discussions on solutions, and shorter ones on the problems. Allow them to find solutions to their own problems rather than you jumping in to solve it for them. As a family, have a time when you also share your issues and seek their point of view on how it can be solved. This will make them feel like their suggestions matter, thereby building confidence. 

6. Accepting change

At home we all have routines, and this is good. Sometimes do something off from the routine, so children understand that there will be times when life throws a curveball. When they know how to handle change, failure will not be an issue. As parents you want your child to have a fixed sleeping and eating schedule. This is only making them more sensitive and less receptive to change. For example, when they are asked to wake up before their usual routine, they often become cranky because they have not been given the chance to adapt to change. 

7. Not stepping in for every small task.

When children are trying new things, avoid jumping in at the beginning to help them finish it. Allow them time to work around it themselves. Encourage them to find more ways to look at it. Even if they fail, allow them to repeat that particular task. Normally we say- “Oh you broke the glass, let me carry it now”. This attitude makes them shy away from facing problems again. 

When children are confident, they will have the competence to deal with all types of situations in life. This will allow them to recover faster from setbacks, thereby getting back strongr. This is a skill which can be developed by applying the above factors and by allowing children to experience challenges and making them capable to deal with them positively. 

As parents when you trust your children that they can handle things, this makes it easier for them to face their problems with strength. So start applying the above techniques, and see how your child grows.

Reference
https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience/guide-parents-teachers

The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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