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Raising Resilient Children – Ten Ways to Foster a Positive Environment at Home and School

Raising Resilient Children – Ten Ways to Foster a Positive Environment at Home and School
Presented by Dr. Maggie Mamen
Author, The Pampered Child Syndrome Book

1. Independence
• Children need supervision & direction and then gradually given independence. Each child is different and will need to be given independence at different stages.

2. Values & Manners
• Teach children doing the right thing
• Parents need to say to children “In this house we…, in this school we…, at church we..” Children need to understand the expected behaviour and manners.
• Parents need to role model the values & manners for their children.
• Parents should not feel peer pressure with the “mythical family” that our children talk about “my friend gets to watch TV all the time and doesn’t have to do homework”

3. Benefits of Failure
• Failure is a learning opportunity for children
• Children need to embrace their imperfections
• Parents need to model how to deal with failure. Parents should talk it out when they fail so their children can understand how they feel/react when they fail.

4. Problem Solving
• Difference types of problem solving. Depending on the situation you may use one of the following problem solving techniques. This teaches your child different ways to problem solve.
i. Delegated – “It’s up to you to figure it out”
ii. Collaborative – “We have a problem we need to solve….”
iii. Imposed – “So here’s what’s going to happen”

5. Choice-making
• Let promised consequences happen and be consistent (both parents).
• Trust your child to handle the consequence.
• Children need to exercise their judgement and find out what the consequence will be.
• Difference types of choice-making:
i. Free choice – sets up for conflict. A question like “What do you want for breakfast” may work for a child that is a pleaser but not for a difficult child as they will choose things that are not acceptable.
ii. Selection of choices – best option to use with your child.
iii. No choice – don’t set your children up if there is no choice. Don’t say “do you want to go to Grandma’s” when they have to go and it is not negotiable.

6. Healthy Boundaries
• There are rules for the parents and different rules for the children.
• Children need to be children – children should not have the same rules as adults, act like adults, dress like adults.
• Parents need to be the “management team”. Need a hierarchy in a family – it’s not a democracy.
• Children need to understand rights from privileges.
• Sometimes children need to be seen and not heard. There are boundaries they need to be taught. For example, no talking when the teacher is speaking, don’t interrupt
• Boundaries between adult and child time.

7. Patience & Tolerance
• Children need to learn short term pain for long term gain.
i. Children need to learn how to save for things
ii. Parents should not to buy things right away for children. Children have nothing to look forward to because they have it all.
• Teach children that “different” value systems are not wrong.
• Practice what we preach. If parents expect instant gratification so will their children.
• Out of boredom comes creativity. Children need downtime / unstructured time to be creative and figure out what to do on their own. Parents should not be trying to keep their children constantly occupied.

8. Empathy & Mindfulness
• Parents need to model by explaining their emotions “I felt badly when…”, “I felt embarrassed when”. Children need to understand more emotions than just “mad, sad, or glad”. Children need parents to model the other emotions and explain them.
• Allow children to feel their feelings whether they are negative or positive.
• “Legislate first … attitudes will follow”. Even if your child doesn’t want to do the empathic or mindful act, parents should make (e.g. say sorry, write a thank you note, etc.)

9. Ownership & Responsibility
• Parents need to say “I choose to” not “I have to”. Parents need to model to their children taking ownership & responsibility.
• Teach our children “what can I do to make it right” or “what do I need to do differently next time”

10. Value of Humour
• Teach your child the value of humour
• “Laugh at yourself first, before anyone else can”.