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How to Raise a Resilient Child

Resilience – the ability to bounce back from adversity, adapt to challenges, and thrive despite difficulties – is essential for a child’s mental and emotional well-being and will help them maintain a positive outlook throughout their lives. It isn’t something we are born with, but a skill that can be nurtured through supportive relationships and experiences. Let’s take a look at some ways in which you can help your child develop this valuable skill. Read below to learn about how to raise a resilient child.

Positive Parenting

Positive parenting creates a nurturing environment where resilience can flourish. Being a supportive listener is crucial; encourage your child to express their feelings and thoughts without fear of judgement. Acknowledging their emotions, rather than dismissing them, teaches them that it’s okay to feel and express a wide range of emotions, making them feel valued and understood. Teach your child emotional literacy by helping them identify and name their emotions. Use tools like emotion charts or storytelling to discuss different feelings. For instance, reading a story together and discussing the characters’ emotions can help children understand and articulate their feelings better. Encouraging autonomy is equally important, so allow children to make age-appropriate decisions to develop independence and confidence in their own abilities. If your child wants to choose their clothes for the day or decide which game to play, let them. These small decisions help them feel in control and teach them about the consequences of their choices in a safe environment. 


Problem-solving skills are essential for developing resilience in children, and teaching them how to navigate challenges and setbacks. Children build the confidence and perseverance needed to thrive in various situations by learning to find solutions and adapt to obstacles. Toys such as puzzles, building blocks, and games involving strategy help children develop these skills. In real-life situations, discuss possible solutions and outcomes to problems with your child, then let them learn from what they decide to do. For example, if a child has a conflict with a friend, discuss possible ways to resolve it, such as talking things through or taking a break. Or if they are struggling with organising homework, talk about different strategies like using a daily planner or how to prioritise tasks. The important thing is to let them choose a solution to try and see how it works. This will not only help to develop their problem-solving skills but will also build their confidence in handling challenges independently.

Role Modelling 

Children learn a great deal from observing their parents, particularly in how they navigate life’s challenges. So be mindful of the impact your reactions to stress and disappointment have on your child’s emotional development. When faced with a frustrating situation, take the opportunity to talk to your child about your thought process and coping strategies. Calmly expressing your emotions and talking to your child about constructive ways in which you could deal with the problem will be useful for them as they learn how to manage their own emotions. Talking openly about your feelings will also help your child to trust you more and feel comfortable asking you for advice in the future.

Adversity isn’t all bad

Shielding children from all challenges can hinder their ability to cope with difficulties later in life. So being exposed to manageable levels of adversity can actually help them to develop and strengthen resilience. Normalise failure by teaching your child that it is a part of learning. Share stories of people, famous or those they know personally, who have overcome challenges to emphasise that setbacks are stepping stones to success. Encourage risk-taking by allowing your child to try new things, whether it’s a new sport or making new friends. If your child is afraid to join a new activity, support them through the process rather than suggesting they avoid it. Celebrate their effort and bravery, regardless of the outcome. This not only builds their resilience but also their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and face new challenges.

Building Self-Esteem

Children with high self-esteem are more likely to take on challenges and recover from setbacks. Provide positive reinforcement, focusing on the effort rather than the outcome. Praise their hard work, perseverance, and improvement, rather than just the final result. This teaches them to value the process of learning and growth. Encourage interests and hobbies, whether it’s playing a musical instrument, painting, or playing a sport, as engaging in activities they enjoy and excel at builds their confidence. Also, encourage your child to reflect on their experiences and what they learned from them. Discussing their successes and failures helps them understand their strengths and areas for improvement, fostering a growth mindset (a belief that your abilities can be improved through effort and persistence). Learn more.

Stress Management 

Having a routine and structure to provide stability can be comforting during stressful times, helping children to feel secure and understand what to expect can reduce anxiety. Mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help them stay calm and focused, even in challenging situations, and can be enjoyable activities to do together. Help your child to develop positive ‘self-talk’ to replace negative thoughts with encouraging ones. For example, if your child says, “I can’t do this,” guide them to reframe it as, “This is hard, but I can try my best.” Regular physical activity also helps to reduce stress and improve mood. Activities like running, cycling, playing a sport, or going for a walk can be excellent outlets for stress. Sufficient sleep is also vitally important for resilience, allowing our bodies and minds to rest and rejuvenate fully, enabling us to confront challenges with confidence and an alert mind. 


Raising a resilient child involves support, encouragement, and opportunities for growth. Remember, resilience is a journey, not a destination, but with your guidance and support, your child can become a resilient individual capable of thriving in the face of adversity. Building resilience takes time and patience, but the long-term benefits for your child’s well-being and success are immeasurable.