Helping Your Child Develop Resilience

When it comes to instilling character in children, the most important characteristic we can model is resilience – overcoming struggles and difficulties.

As the apostle Paul writes, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:8-9).

Resilience is a mindset. It’s a process of adapting in the face of significant stress. With resilience, challenges become opportunities to learn and mature. We recover much more easily from disappointment, defeat, and adversity.

At first, resilience is a choice. Over time and with discipline, it becomes part of our character, leading to growth and hope, learning and creative problem solving, and healthy character and relationships.

The key to resilience in your children is you. With you alongside them in support, trust, and unconditional love, they’ll learn to use the abilities God has given them to work through their struggles and overcome.

To help your children learn how to face challenges with courage and confidence, I’m talking with Dr. Kathy Koch on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Helping Your Child Develop Resilience.”

Dr. Koch is a speaker, educational psychologist, and former teacher. She’s also the author of several books, including Resilient Kids: Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence.

For your children to develop resilience, she says children need to understand and believe these statements:

  • Mistakes happen when I do something incorrectly. I can learn a lot from my mistakes. A mistake is not the same thing as failure.
  • Failure is falling short of an expectation. It’s a lack of success.
  • Mistakes and failures happen because I lack a specific ability or skill due to a lack of experience or training.
  • Mistakes and failures can happen because my attitudes get in the way or they don’t use character qualities such as humility, teachability, patience and effort.

Listen to my full conversation with Dr. Kathy Koch on your local radio station, online, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.

While you’re online, we’ve got a free parenting assessment for you at our website. It will quickly give you an overview of how your family is doing in several key areas. It also offers suggestions for improving the relationships in your home.

Before I close, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Dr. Kathy Koch’s book Resilient Kids: Raising Them to Embrace Life with Confidence as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

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