Resilient kids are made outside their comfort zone

Are we doing children a favor by letting them have the easiest and best of everything? “What distinguishes healthy families is not the absence of problems or suffering but rather their coping and problem solving abilities.”  (Froma Walsh)

A good definition of “resilient” is found in Ms. Walsh’s book, Strengthening Family Resilience: “the capacity to rebound from adversity strengthened and more resourceful.”

Ways to let children practice resilience

  • Praise a child’s patience with a younger sibling’s interference with their toys, rather than jumping to stop the conflict.
  • Encouragement: “You’re a star when it comes to trying new things.”

Creative Mother’s Day message ideas for older kids

Are you a teacher, dad, grandparent–someone who will coach children in their Mother’s Day messages and gifts? Here are some fresh ideas to get them started on their messages.

Young children may touch mom’s heart with their crayon-drawn cards….

….but older children can begin to venture outside the box  of “Thanks for all you do for me” into specific actions mom does. Just two or three of them will communicate a deeper level of appreciation perhaps.

Older children and teens can begin to articulate specific qualities, character, personality traits and attitudes.

These creative sentences may spark children’s short messages affirming the spirit of their mother. I like these ideas offered by Keely Chace :

  • You’re the glue that holds us together.

Tell children your own spiritual stories

Many times, a personal story sheds a brighter light on the subject than moralizing. Rather than telling a child facing a question or decision what to do, telling them a story from your own life can be much more helpful. It helps them think creatively and gives them the confidence that they can come to their own solutions.

When children raise questions, our ideal response is to hear them out and invite more dialog. Lisa Miller uses something like: “You bring such important questions to the family;”  or “When I was a child I wondered that, too. I am so happy you are sharing these thoughts with me.”