Raising Resilient Children During Pandemic and Challenging Times
T-Take Time, Take Note
Resilience is the process of handling stress and recovering from trauma or adversity.
Raising children doesn’t come with a manual nor a degree, but it requires expertise. We get this expertise by having the willingness to seek help when needed, to think carefully before taking action (specially when it comes to discipline) and to always remind ourselves that everything we do to our children must be coming out of love. Be it anger, discipline, or hard choices, make sure it comes out of your love for them. We do this until we no longer think about it, until all comes naturally, until we become the ‘personal expert in raising our children. Financial security may be a factor to raise a resilient child too, but it doesn’t mean we need to give them an extravagant lifestyle. It is best to involve them in the family financial situation, not to stress them out but to secure them that the family is together in whatever we have to go through, big or small. We may make professional sacrifices to achieve this financial capability and spend quality time with the family. Make it a family goal to have everyone on board to achieve each ones’ own self fulfillment or work-life balance.
Even preschool children could benefit in developing their resilience at an early age within a supportive and safe environment.
Preschool activities with family members will help your bond and support system as seen by children.
Express connection, communicate effectively, choose words carefully.
Let our children express their emotions and we as parents express ourselves.
Negative behaviour (sadness, anger, anxiety) can hinder communication specially with with adolescents. Let there be a connection first. One of the best ways is the opportunity that mealtimes give us, to sit down with our children and bond with them. Please make it a habit for everybody to take away phones/ gadgets during meal times.This way your focus would be to each other and building connections is easier and better.
Once connection is established, communicate effectively. Making eye contact, your mere body language and facial expressions, makes our children feel we are there, ready to listen, to whatever it is they want to say.
In expressing yourself, choose your words carefully. This will help make our children comfortable in communicating especially when we speak in a manner of collaborating with them in an issue instead of imposing that they are automatically in the wrong.
Try to use words like
“How do you feel if we try (your suggestion) do you think that would work?
“Ano ba ang mas ok sa iyo na paraan? Baka makatulong ang (ang nais mong gawin ng anak)?”
Also remember, your tone of voice is equally important as your choice of words.
Celebrate accomplishments (no matter the size). The resiliency of our child will be more effective if we are able to draw on their strengths that they already have. Be generous in giving compliments to your child. Clapping and acknowledging they did good is already a celebration, we don’t need rewards or material things to show we appreciate them and are proud of them. Simplicity and kindness is best. This will make them feel they can do things not just good but better. The next time they are faced with adversity, they will remember this little moment of victory. They will remember they have the ability to conquer such adversities.
Inclusion of the whole family during good times and bad times. All the things we’ve so far discussed, must best done consistently, and applies to every member of the household (even your yaya/ housekeepers) not just the parents. If you leave for work, savoring moments could be done by the elder sibling. This stems from the idea that if positive vibes breed out of something we do, no matter the obstacle, we would want to do it again, more often, until we develop resilience to those obstacles.
Let the child say what he thinks, what he sees, what he feels and everything he wants to say. Listen attentively without judgement. Let us first show them we are listening. Do not reprimand right away, allow your child to speak their mind first.
Consider also verbal and non verbal expressions of your child. Every child is different, and we should observe if something in their behaviour changes from the norm. It may be time to simply talk or stay with them for a while to understand what’s happening.
Allow the child to realize the situation. Pause for a while and let the child internalize and think about the situation while we also try to comprehend the issue at hand. Pause, an think carefully on how you are going to respond.
The focus we are targeting in resiliency is to strengthen the child in dealing with every stress or hardship they will be facing.
Find ways to develop the child’s competence by recognizing their strengths and providing opportunities for challenging situations.
Remind them their accomplishments no matter the size. “Diba anak dati nahihirapan ka sa algebra, aba ngayon lagi ka nang pasado sa quizzes simula ng nagpapaturo ka kay ate..”
Dati nahihirapan ka sa online class pero ngayon kahit wala ng tulong ni kuya or ni papa, kaya mo maka-attend sa online class by yourself.”
Reframe the child’s weakness as a hidden strength. “Oh diba, hindi totoong di ka magaling sa math, magaling ka, lahat lang talaga ng tao kailangan ng practice at tulong sa umpisa..”
Assure the child that he or she is doing good this pandemic and will still do better.
N-NURTURE AND NATURE
An individual’s resilience is dictated by a combination of genetics, personal history, environment and situational context. So far, research has found the genetic part to be relatively small.
In trying to develop a resilient child, consider the child’s nature and development in understanding their behaviour and in giving instructions. Level your words and point of explanations to their level of understanding.
In adolescents, their behavior may be trickier to understand than a preschooler.
T- TAKE TIME AND TAKE NOTE
Take time in processing the childs’ behavior. Take time to plan and educate yourself in building your childs’ resilience. Take note in recognizing God and providing spiritual enlightenment which is the key to total enlightenment and resiliency.
Developing mental resilience must be our ultimate goal for our children.
Loving and accepting themselves as they are.
Adapting to change.
Looking at the bright side of things
Knows when to say no and how to say no. (“Niyaya ako pero maglaro sa labas, pero I said no, kasi we must stay home and stay safe for the family”)
Trying something new.
Relax and let go of things we have no control of
Set realistic goals
Ask for help.
Elementary schools in Bulacan
Preschools in Bulacan
Educational Play Preschool
COLM | Maribel M. Cruz RGC
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