close   X

10/10/22 blog post

tips for raising resilient children

in this article

Let’s be honest, kids are not always happy. And that’s okay! We sat down with Mary Beth DeWitt, PhD, chief of pediatric psychology at Dayton Children’s, and got her advice for parents when it comes to raising resilient and confident kiddos. “Our emotions tend to vary by nature and that’s perfectly normal,” says Dr. DeWitt. “But if we can learn to be resilient, we can improve our ability to successfully adapt, positively transform, and return to baseline despite surrounding stressors and adversity. We all encounter stressors and adversity, but how can we bounce back?”

what are characteristics of resiliency?

Some important building blocks of resiliency include:

  • Recognizing and accepting feelings
  • Expressing feelings appropriately
  • Building a positive outlook
  • Developing effective ways of coping
  • Dealing with negative feelings
  • Managing stress

what are benefits of resilient children?

Emotionally resilient kids are caring and socially skilled, able to manage feelings, able to cope with stress and less likely to resort to less healthy ways of coping.

what can parents do to encourage resiliency?

Parents should always stay involved in their children’s life. It’s important to have conversations with your children about what is happening in their lives. Be there to help them problem solve difficult situations, but also understand emotions and boundaries.

Provide structure and opportunities for learning, growth and development. Help your child feel secure, and always express gratitude when necessary. Help your child develop proper health hygiene with their sleep, nutrition and exercise.

As a parent, always monitor your child for warning signs, changes in their behavior, increased withdrawal, decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities, irritability or tearfulness.

It’s okay for children to not feel happy all the time, but if they know they can come to you and talk it out they will build resiliency that will help them throughout their life.lhf

star star star star star

Mary Beth DeWitt, PhD.

division chief behavioral health, psychology
view full bio