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What is Resilience?

Resilience is our ability to cope with stress and hardship in a way that allows us to move forward rather than getting stuck and wallowing. Psychologist refer to it as our ability to “bounce back” after life has “knocked us down” and be even stronger than before.   

What is resilience

2020 tried to knock us to the ground! Life was very different just one year ago. Nobody anticipated a global pandemic disrupting every part of our lives, the inequalities  that would be profoundly exposed, or an election full of division and unrest. We did not know the challenges that would come our way.

And that’s how challenges work. We never know when they will come. Rarely can we anticipate the traumatic experience or chaos that will shake our worlds. And resilience is not anticipating or protecting ourselves from hardship. Rather its cultivating specific strategies that increase our capacity to withstand and learn from difficult and traumatic experiences. Resilience is strengthened by our self-awareness, mindfulness, self-care, positive relationships, and by seeking purpose and meaning. 

Why is Resilience Important In Families?

When my children were younger, a favorite response to any unsafe options was, “because one of my number one jobs as a parent is to keep you safe.” And yes, it is my role to do my best to provide safety and security for my children. However, it is impossible for me to protect my children from every danger or stress. 

One of the best gifts we can give our children is the ability to “bounce back,” even when they experience difficulty or trauma. Resilience improves learning and academic success, increases immunity, reduces risk-taking behaviors, increases family and community involvement, and boosts physical health. 

The challenges of 2020 will not be the only challenges we or our children will face. Just as we could not anticipate what 2020 would hold, we cannot anticipate 2021 or any other year. This is not meant to cause feelings of anxiety or stress but rather to encourage us. We’ve made it through a year like no other in recent history. We can do hard things! 

What Can Parents do to help?

Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring how to grow resilience in our families. Each week will offer tips and encouragement for fostering resilience not matter our age or previous experiences. That’s the great thing about resilience, it’s not just something you either have or don’t have. Resilience can be learned and cultivated so that no matter what challenges we face in the future, we have the resources to “bounce back.”

If you’re ready for more now, our online parenting class, “Big Emotions and What Parents Can Do” is full of knowledge and tools for helping foster emotional health, one of the key components of resilience, in your family. Get the course today for just $75 and start your family’s journey to building more resilience.

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