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Help your kids to be resilient

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Resiliency is described as a combination of skills and positive attributes that people gain from their life experiences and relationships.

These attributes help them solve problems, cope with challenges, and bounce back from disappointments.

Parents can help their children develop attributes that enable them to be resilient and that will help them throughout their lives.

Assets that work together:

  • Relationships/reaching out—strong parent-child relationships, social skills and self-confidence, the ability to ask for help, understanding of personal boundaries, and belonging to communities and groups;
  • Emotional skills—positive self-esteem, ability to calm oneself, ability to talk about feelings, sense of humour, ability to distract oneself, ability to see hopeful side of problems and challenges, and knowing how to act appropriately in various situations;
  • Competence—goal-setting and planning, problem-solving and reasoning skills, practical skills like being able to cook, clean, budget, fix things, and find information, the ability to look after oneself and be independent, assertiveness, perseverance, good judgement, and critical thinking skills; and
  • Optimism—confidence in one’s own skills and abilities, ability to judge risks, positive childhood experiences, supportive family and community, and being generous and supportive of others.

Develop and nurture your relationships with your children. Listen and respect their feeling, voice, and assertiveness.

Challenge their negative thoughts and show a positive view; model optimistic behaviour. Provide strategies your children can learn for dealing with stress.

For more information, contact your local Canadian Mental Health Association at 274-2347 or visit www.cmhaff.ca

Editor’s note: May 7-13 is Mental Health Week.

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