Resilience is our inner strength that helps us bounce back when we experience disappointments, sadness or setbacks in our life. To be resilient we need to develop skills that will help us understand our emotions, learn how to cope with change, and actively participate in society. This involves learning about who we are, and how to successfully achieve what we want out of life. All of us face challenges, and it is during these times that resilient people are able to hang in there, learn new skills and leap back into life again.
Things that will help your teenager develop their resiliency are:
- Having caring and supportive relationships in their life.
- Learning life skills to help them actively and positively participate in life.
- Having clear boundaries and rules at home, school and in society.
- Taking opportunities to meaningfully participate in activities that make them feel good.
- Humour– laughing and seeing the funny side of life.
- Focus on your child’s strengths and what they are capable of doing.
- Focus on what is right about your child and the situation. Tell your child you know they have the ability to make positive choices.
- Expect the best from your child.
As a parent you can help promote your teenage child’s resiliency by maintaining a positive perspective of their abilities, schooling achievements and their life in general. This requires you to focus on your child’s strengths, what is right with them, and acknowledge that they have unique skills and talents to share. In regards to challenges they may face along the way, always remember that this is just a small part of their whole life span and overall life experiences.
Tips to support teenagers when they experience challenges include:
- Tell them that the situation will pass and that the challenges they are experiencing are only temporary.
- Explain that the experience has the opportunity to provide them with valuable skills and knowledge.
- Remind your teenager that everyday they have lots of opportunities to make different and rewarding choices.
Marina Bakker is Managing Director of Counselling Works and founder of Modern Love Solutions. Marina specialises in Youth and Resilience Development and provides strategies to assist in the development of raising resilient teens, families and communities. She specialises in a range of therapeutic interventions for depression, anxiety, trauma recovery and works from a strength based perspective focussed on promoting internal assets. She works extensively in the area of training development providing a range of Professional and Personal Development workshops; including Developing Young People’s Resilience. Marina has both initial and higher degrees in Social Science, Counselling and Education. She is available for therapy/coaching sessions and is able to present on a range of youth, workplace and relationship topics. For more information visit: www.counsellingworks.com.au