Teaching emotional resilience(11 Posts)
How do you teach this? My mother didn't teach me, so consequently I have no idea! Thanks!
Do you mean that you are very sensitive when things go wrong for you?
I'd describe myself as emotionally resilient, but I don't think it's something you can teach to be honest. You just have to try to provide a secure happy background for your child, and support them when things go wrong, and then hope for the best! I definitely think that some children (and adults) are more sensitive than others from birth - to some extent it may be just the way you are.
My 7yo DD was having friendship problems recently (best friend was playing with someone else, all very normal for 7yo girls). I let her be sad, I didn't minimise it or tell her there was nothing to be sad about, but I also tried not to over react. I gave her lots of cuddles and tried to give helpful advice ("you could try playing with Beth or Leah instead?") but didn't worry if she didn't seem ready to hear that. It all blew over in a couple of weeks and she's fine now.
Yes, I am a sensitive person and find it difficult when my 7 yr old is upset and tells me that such and such a child has been mean to him. He is a generally well adjusted child with lots of friends, and I am certain he feels secure. Maybe I should just say play with someone else!
I'm not a professional on this at all but it was my understanding that emotional resilience is the luck of the draw, at least in part. However you're never too old to learn how to manage thoughts and feelings more effectively. If you google examples of distorted thinking you will see the types of thoughts that can chip away at emotional health - catastrophising, mind-reading etc.. I believe teaching this to a child will really help them survive emotionally.
I also think that if you treat a child kindly and help him to articulate his feelings, he is more likely to manage his emotions well by treating himself kindly and others kindly. Eg., he's more likely to see that his friend just doesn't understand that he's hurting people's feelings and more likely to recognise that his own hurt feelings are simply an indication that he feels sad, rather than an indication that his friend's hurtful words are true.
But like you I find it agonising to see my child in pain because I'm highly sensitive myself.
I think you can teach your child that failling is not the end of the world, that they can try again later. And that it is ok to be upset/sad etc.
Also you should praise kids for what they do not what they are. If you say you do good at school or whatever activity because you are smart then the implication is that when they dont do good is because they are not smart anymore. But if you say you are doing good because you work hard and hard work pays off then the implication is that they can overcome adversity by working hard.
I can fail many times and just shrug it off. Seeing my children hurting because of a wrong spelling or friends cuts me up. I try and put a positive spin on it - 'it's only one spelling, it's not a big deal, I bet you can spell it right now you're not under pressure' or 'but if j plays with h, that gives you time to play with c and l and they're better at football aren't they?'
I think there is a huge element of luck of the draw - my DD and I are pretty resilient, DS and DH much less so.
There are things you can do to help, like modelling appropriate reactions, and talking things through and teaching them to rationalise (in so far as is possible, depending on age). However children who aren't very emotionally resilient often have a parent who isn't either, so often there is an element of an underlying personality trait being reinforced.
Was lurking on here but had to post.
I am not always emotionally resilient, having been super sensitive all my life. It shows up the most when I am tired, every little thing has me upset and sometimes I just burst into tears. DD appears to be following the same which is hard for me, again, if she overtired, she takes everything the wrong way and bursts into tears over things she wouldn't normally. She is 11 so I know also hormones are kicking in.
If she is upset, I do my best to reassure her (i.e. well play with someone else, it will blow over etc). I feel like I have let her down because she is like me (I hate that aspect of me). My Dad is very sensitive and takes things to heart, my Mum is made of stronger stuff. I have more of Dad's genes personality wise than my Mum
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