Building resilience in our children

As a psychologist that works both in the education system and in private practice, I have the opportunity to speak to many parents on a regular basis. Often these conversations are in relation to typical issues and concerns parents face; however, other times, the concerns expressed reveal issues that are of greater severity. Parents will often wonder whether it is time for them to seek professional help. Sometimes, there are many different things that can be done prior to getting to this point. 

For example, one of the things that I have tried to emphasize over the years is the idea of buliding resilience in our children/youth by teaching them coping skills. Part of the reason why I endorse this approach is that we do not have to wait for problems to reach a clinical level to be able to promote the skills involved. Therefore, teaching a child how to identify, distinguish, and regulate emotions; how to break down large problems into more manageable units; how to problem-solve; and, most importantly, how to engage in relaxation or calming activities on a regular basis, are all things that can be done with all children and youth. Sometimes parents will seek guidance or assistance in implementing some of the approaches listed above.

Some resources for building resiliency include:

http://www.beststart.org/resources/hlthy_chld_dev/pdf/BSRC_Resilience_English_fnl.pdf

http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/for_parents/Pages/raising_resilient_children.aspx

http://toolsforliferesources.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/resiliency-in-children-fact-sheet.pdf

Dr. Eduardo Roldan, Ph.D., C.Psych.