Raising Resilience: How to Help Our Kids Become Adults Who Can Cope (Intro)
This blog series is adapted from my parent-night talk given at the Sherwood School in Old Saybrook, CT.
What comes to mind when you think about resilience? What kind of qualities does a resilient kid or resilient adult have?
We all want to know how we can raise a kid who can bounce back, who has confidence, who recovers easily and looks on the bright side. At the same time, what the research shows is that the top two things parents really want for their kids is for them to be happy and successful. But happiness and success aren't end goals. Rather, they're byproducts of other factors.
Let's take a moment to recognize the most difficult truth we can be reminded; that our kids will experience failure, unhappiness, disappointment, heartbreak and rejection on small and large scales. And since we want our kids to be happy and successful, its in our instinct to do everything in our power to shield our kids from these hurts.
But here's where the problem lies. It's in our stepping in - our interference - that we are unknowingly thwarting our kid's resilience, confidence, and sense of self-agency (self-agency is defined as the will and ability to meet your own goals and needs, and is closely tied to resilience).
So the question is:
What can we do as parents
to bring our kids closer to themselves?
How can we lay the groundwork early
for the coping that will be required
when the stakes get even higher?
In this blog series I want to increase your insight and knowledge about the effects that our interference (often referred to as "overparenting") can have on our kids' ability to become adults who can effectively and independently manage difficulties.
I also want you have the opportunity to raise your own self-awareness of where you fall on the parenting spectrum, and gain a few skills to help you self-correct as you go, thereby better fostering the behaviors that will help your kids develop emotional and personal fortitude.
In this series we'll walk through some of the latest research and trends that show how parenting is getting in the way of our kid's resilience more than ever, then I'll guide you through self reflection exercises designed to help you better relate to the material for yourself, and then I'll share a list of tips and suggestions to help you and your kids get on the path to success. I'll also share with you some of the common questions I've gotten from parents on this topic and the responses I've given.
So strap on your parenting seatbelt (if you're a parent, it's already on. It's been on since birth, so maybe just tighten it...) and we're on our way!
Tomorrow, January 19, I'll be sharing Part 2: Raising Resilience: Why Our Kids Are Less Resilient Than Ever
Lauren L. Drago, MSEd, LMHC, LPC is the founder of Lauren Drago Therapy in Old Saybrook, CT and in greater CT, NY & PA. She specializes in working with smart, insightful and capable women to overcome stress, anxiety, loss of identity, self-limiting beliefs, perfectionism, marriage strain, and the pressure of "trying to do it all." Lauren has a passion for helping others to achieve the happy, fulfilling, productive, and meaningful life they deserve by changing how they experience and understand their world. She believes that every woman can and should live out her personal definition of her own best life. Follow Lauren on Facebook, and call (860) 339-6515 to schedule your free initial consultation.