When we think about nurturing resiliency in children, we need to include thoughts about supporting development of their own true and unique selves. Helping our children be who they are means that we allow them freedom to sometimes be solitary, give them a chance to discover that they can be in charge of satisfying their own needs, and simply honor their being.

Many ways exist to encourage a child’s resilient nature. Here are just a few strategies to consider and some ideas for ways to implement them:

Foster islands of competence:

  • Find your child’s strengths and nurture those abilities.
  • Encourage your child to teach others the skills developed.
  • Plan a “Kids Day” or create a “Person of the Moment” ritual and give your child a turn to be the focus of recognition.
  • Involve your child (and others) in some activities that include positive self-development rather than competition.

Honor culture and ethnicity:

  • Provide time and create opportunities for your child to learn about and celebrate his or her culture.
  • Enjoy a cultural celebration day. Share your child’s cultural heritage with others.
  • Read children’s literature that celebrates and honors a variety of cultures.

Provide opportunities for play:

  • Explore interactive children’s museums and parks.
  • Make time for play with toys and games.
  • Play outside in nature, take a little longer at recess, or enjoy a safe playground. Watch a funny movie together. Put on a funny play. Create a funniest joke contest in which everyone wins.
  • Take a walk and have a talk with your child as you go.

Build resilience in children as they grow and blossom. Honor your child’s true self, nurture competencies, and (of course) play!