Older News  » Developing resilience in your child

Last updated 10:37 AM on 25 September 2012

Growing up can be tough. Things don't always go to plan. So how can you help your child to develop resilience? 

Research shows children with good resilience perform better at school and are less likely to take part in risky behaviour, particularly as they enter the teenage years.

The education department's principal psychologist, Ron Balderston, describes resilience as a shock absorber for the potholes of life.

"Resilient children know how to cope and have developed skills that enable them to flex so they can manage life's blows when they happen without them getting too down, stuck on ways that aren't helping or giving up," Ron says.

Top tips on building resilience

  • Teach your child to experience success by supporting them in something they like doing whether it's a sporting, academic or artistic endeavour.
  • Help them develop skills to be successful at school such as having a good concentration and memory by playing card games and puzzles.
  • Being able to read people's emotions is powerfully predictive of how well children can get on with people at school. Play games with your child by predicting what sort of day a person walking down the street may have had.
  • Be aware of the ‘yuk and yum' factor – some things will make your child feel good and other things will make them feel bad. The idea is for them to gather things around them that cheer them up if they've had a bad day.
  • Keep things in perspective – explain to a grumpy child their circumstances are not the worst possible, and that others have been through similar situations. Walk beside them as they handle the situation. This helps them to build hope and the belief they can handle problems when they come up.

Find out more about building resilience in your child – and watch a video on the subject on the School A to Z website.