Resiliency is important for parents too. Our resiliency helps children in two ways. First, when things aren’t going well, your resiliency assets help you get back more quickly to being the parent you’d like to be.
Secondly, one of the ways children learn how to be resilient is from the model their parents provide, which is as important as any guidance or teaching we give them.
How does parent resiliency work? Think about the four areas of childhood resilience: supportive relationships, emotional skills, competence and optimistic thinking.
Parents can rely on relationships with friends and loved ones for
• emotional support,
• sharing the ups and downs of family life,
• help and advice, and
• good times that help us enjoy being parents.
We can use our experience, knowledge and understanding of emotions to
• control our anger, frustration and alarm when we need to,
• calm ourselves and help ourselves feel better,
• remind ourselves that bad feelings are temporary, and
• avoid making bad decisions when we are upset.
We can use our thinking ability and various life skills we’ve developed to
• understand and solve problems,
• find information and answers to our questions about parenting,
• control the parts of our lives that we can control, and
• learn to live with and adapt to the things we can’t control.
Optimistic thinking can help us
• see the rays of hope in difficult situations,
• find ways to help ourselves when faced with parenting challenges, and
• make the most of our good times.
Resiliency boosters for parents
Adults can increase their parenting resiliency in two practical ways. One is by not being afraid to ask for help. That could include professional help, but really, informal help may be even more important because we use it more often. No other society has ever assumed that all the responsibility for raising children would fall on the shoulders of one or two people. Traditionally, relatives, friends and neighbours have always assisted parents with child rearing. We all parent better with the help of others.
Another way to boost your parenting resiliency is to learn more about raising children. Learning about child development will help you understand and parent your kids through various ages and stages. Parenting courses are another good resource because they can help you increase the number of strategies in your parenting “tool kit.”
These courses are not for “bad” parents, they are for all parents who want to boost their parentingskills. One of the biggest benefits of taking a parenting course is discovering that you are not alone and that other parents struggle with the same kinds of issues that you face. That takes some of the pressure off and helps people feel better about themselves as parents.
Source: Parenting Resilient Children at Home and at School, The Psychology Foundation of Canada
Reprinted with permission.