Better Parenting Tip: What does resilience mean?

What does resilience mean?

The ability to cope with stressful situations, Being able to shrug off something nasty that another child has said, Seeing something negative and being able to move on, Being able to bounce back after you have been knocked down.

Some children are more resilient than others. The following link looked at children who have had to cope with divorce, separation of parents, parents with mental health issues, children who have suffered from trauma, poverty, maltreatment or being in the care of a parent who is under major stress. These children gave the best indication of how children build resilience. Which children went on to be successful and which children dropped out of school, have teenage pregnancies or do gaol time, etc.

Your child does not need to go through trauma, poverty nor divorce to build up resilience. On the other hand if your child does at some stage have to deal with any of the above, how can you ensure that they go on the build resilience and are successful in their own right.

The children who have

  • care & support
  • love & trust 
  • encouragement

from both within and externally from the family are the ones that build resilience. This is one of the reasons why quality child care or a great school is just so important for your child.

Resilience is built up from focusing on positive results, building a close bond with at least one person, having humour in their life, but also having a positive view of themselves.

The American Psychological Association suggests "10 Ways to Build Resilience", which are: maintaining good relationships with close family members, friends and others;

  • to avoid seeing crises or stressful events as unbearable problems;
  • to accept circumstances that cannot be changed;
  • to develop realistic goals and move towards them;
  • to take decisive actions in adverse situations;
  • to look for opportunities of self-discovery after a struggle with loss;
  • developing self-confidence;
  • to keep a long-term perspective and consider the stressful event in a broader context;
  • to maintain a hopeful outlook, expecting good things and visualizing what is wished;
  • to take care of one's mind and body, exercising regularly, paying attention to one's own needs and feelings.

Read more research into building Resilience at