As parents, we often believe that only good grades and high achievements in extra-curricular activities like sports and dramatics can ensure the success of our wards in life. They are easy tickets to high paying jobs and a happy future but what we do not teach them is resilience, which is the most important life skill especially at the time of COVID-19.
What is resilience? Resilience is the quality to overcome difficult situations and stay positive. According to Oprah Winfrey – ‘where there is struggle, there is strength’. The present education system and the urban, hyper wired culture are giving the children a very cushioned lifestyle which is robbing them of risk-taking skills. However, when they need to establish their life in far off cities and countries, these cognitive abilities help them truly succeed in life.
Resilience is not a magic potion like a health drink, its takes time and patience and when cities are in lock-down and parents working from home, this is the best time to train the children in developing resilience.
Three factors that help children develop resilience.
Healthy Adult- Child Relationship – Respect and trust is the foundation of any relationship. When you respect your children and trust them, they too fall in line. With time in hand, observe your child keenly, forget the school grades, indulge with them in their pastime, share your life with them, the glories and the pitfalls and encourage them to reveal theirs too. Turn to meaningful conversations like the current social issues which will help you identify their perspective in life. Build trust and let your child realize that no matter what, you love them unconditionally even if they don’t make it.
Here are some activities to grow togetherness
- Read books together or listen to self-improvement podcast
- Pick a new task together – Be it cooking or gardening
- Learn a new skill – be it a new language or meditation
A sense of responsibility and perceived control – Being protective parents, it is difficult to leave your children in risky situations, but you need to give them this little independence that will help them become responsible. These small learning events can train them in making quick decisions and sharpen their critical thinking skills. These important skills cannot be learned through books but extracurricular activities like team sports can teach children how to plan and troubleshoot. Whatever the task in hand, the sense of accomplishment makes our lives fruitful.
Here are some ways to build a sense of self-efficacy
- Training them in negotiating skills – Approaching people through a phone call. Listening and acting from a safe distance.
- Train them to focus- Track their workout/cleaning/study regime to find their strengths and limitations
Strong self-regulatory capacities – Self-discipline come from practice and with some hardness. Regularly giving in to their tantrums and providing easy fixes to their tears will never make then discerning and will neither help them in managing their emotions. This is a valuable attribute that will help them find their perspective in life. After all life is not about pay checks but living your purpose in life.
Here are some ways to build self-regulatory capacities
- Involve the children in budgeting and planning the ration
- Prioritizing the events of the day
This is also the time to help them find important answers of life, like “what career is right for me”! Perhaps an online aptitude test for students will help them discover their personality traits, interest and map them to the right career where their skills are in demand.
Living in a joint family helps in nurturing tradition and culture in children. Making them God fearing and teaching them good values is the primary responsibility of parents apart from providing them good education. Keeping them grounded with important life skills to handle challenges in life needs consistent effort and will take longer than the time corona-virus is here to stay.