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5 Ways Parents Can Raise a Resilient Child

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Resilient children are upbeat and independent. They don't spend much time whining, blaming, or feeling sorry for themselves. To raise such a sturdy-minded child, there are goals and behaviors you can adopt. At the end of this article, you'll find a poem about your child's Inner Guide.

6 Goals for Developing Resiliency in Kids


1. Help them regulate their emotions when hurt or upset.
2. Teach them to be flexible in dealing with change.
3. Train them to become problem-solvers.
4. Teach them independence through age-appropriate tasks.
5. Coach them on developing strong friendships.
6. Be a strong loving role model and confidant for your child.

5 Parenting Behaviors for Nurturing Resilient Children

1. Believe in your child


1.) Say it! “I believe in you,” and tell your youngster why.
2.) Show you believe in him by giving him choices:
“Do you want to do your chores now or after dinner?”

Giving children choices prepares them to become decision makers. With this preparation early on, they'll be ready to make more responsible decisions with each developmental stage.

When parents dictate every choice, it's like saying, “I don't trust that you're smart or wise enough to make this decision.”

2. Ask, ‘How Questions:'

“How would you like to study for your math test?”

Asking ‘how questions' helps kids face their own problems and think things through. After they offer some answers, find out if they want your advice. If they say “Yes,” then offer a suggestion.

It might be easier to tell your child how to study for the math test. But how will that help your child think for himself?

3. Focus on Your Child's Strengths to Use as Resources

Pay attention to your student's successes, talents, and problem-solving skills. When her feelings are hurt, she receives a bad grade, didn't make the baseball team, or her best friend moves away, empathize first. Let some time pass. Then remind her how well she handled a past situation. For instance you could say, “You have a strong bright mind. You've used it to improve your math grade in the past. You can use it again because that past success is now a special resource to boost your confidence and try again.”

4. Teach Your Kids to Be Self-Sufficient

One of the best ways to raise helpless dependent kids is to do everything for them.

How can you help them become independent? It's simple and it will take some of your time.


1.) Avoid telling yourself, “It's easier if I do it myself.” Maybe it's easier right now but not in the long run.
2.) Teach your child how to take care of his own needs with age-appropriate chores. For instance, many nine-year-olds can wash and fold their own clothes and clean their own rooms.


5. Role-Play Social Skills

Your child needs strong social connections for becoming an upbeat person. You are number one. She craves a supportive relationship with you in which you help her learn how to live life well.

Through friendships with other children she learns the give- and-take of relationships. Friends show her that she is likable. Bouncing back from difficulties is easier when she has a friend to talk to.

Most kids don't possess the skills to make and keep friends. Here are 3 friendship skills to start role-playing.


1. Being a good sport when losing a game.
2. Acting friendly, smiling, and saying “Hi!”
3. Asking questions to show interest in other kids.


A Resilient Poem to Discuss, Draw, Memorize, or Post

This poem could help you discuss the problems with negativity, the importance of positive thinking, and that every child has an Inner Guide to help him make choices.

Train Your Brain


He sat upon my shoulder
And whispered in my ear,
“I'll help you become bolder,
If you listen to me, Dear.”


I could not see or feel him,
“What do you want?” I cried.
“To help your thoughts within,
For I'm your Inner Guide.”


“What do I have to do?”
“Slow down, and think and hear.
I'll talk silently to you,
And whisper in your ear.”


Now when I have a question,
I'll open up my ear,
And ask him for suggestions,
And train my brain to hear.

Conclusion for Raising a Resilient Child

Visibly believe in your child, ask ‘how' questions, focus on her strengths as resources, teach self-sufficient tasks, friendship skills, and how to use her Inner Guide. If you do, you'll be raising a resilient ‘Can-Do' child to become a positive force in the world.

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Enjoy this brief video: How Parents Can Raise Resilient Children

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