Parenting Resources

Teaching Resilience to Elementary Age Children

Character traits such as patience, kindness, gentleness,  perseverance, and respect should be developing and children should be encouraged to demonstrate these traits. 

  1. Take advantage of opportunities that will encourage patience (without resorting to ‘entertainment devices’).  “Let’s play a quiet game or see if we can sit quietly while we wait for our food.”
  2. Talk about the benefits of delayed gratification.  (ex) “If you save your allowance for the next two weeks, you will have enough money to buy the toy you want.”
  3. Talk about the benefits of making good decisions.  “If we eat protein for breakfast, you will have more energy at school during the day.”
  4. Demonstrate that you make mistakes and can find ways to correct / modify them.  “Oops, I put too much milk in the pancake batter. I’ll need to add a little more flour.”
  5. Talk about difficulties you have overcome.   “It was so hard for me to learn how to ride a two-wheel bike.  I had to practice for many weeks, but it sure felt good when I rode all by myself.”
  6. Think of a phrase that everyone in your family can use when facing a challenge.  “Our challenges make us stronger.”  “This will help me grow.”
  7. When your child has failed at something, consider this a great opportunity to teach the importance of persistence, handling frustration, problem solving, trying again.  “Trial and error” is an important part of learning resilience / perseverance.
  8. Don’t forget that every child learns responsibility, a sense of belonging, and new skills when he / she has daily and weekly chores to accomplish.
  9. Do not do your child’s homework!  You are responsible for making sure your child has the necessary supplies and a place to study, as well as assuring your child’s schedule prioritizes homework.  Your child should be doing all the work – and carrying his own backpack to school!  (Parents in California have been seen walking their children to school while carrying their children’s backpacks!)
  10. Help your child keep commitments – attending sports practice, for example, even if it means missing another more desirable event.
  11. Encourage your child to solve small problems, and encourage family discussions about how to solve family disagreements / problems.  “Who has an idea about how we can earn enough money to go camping?”