Lately we often hear talk about resilience but in fact what does this term mean? In psychology it is the ability to react to traumatic events of various kinds, with a constructive attitude, adapting one’s life to new conditions. A quality that according to many experts should be cultivated from an early age.
Among others, the pediatrician Kenneth Ginsburg suggests that, on the subject, he even dedicated a book, ” Building resilience in children and teens “, where he explains the 7 C model, a practical approach to help parents teach the resilience to their children . Where 7 C means the crucial factors to keep in mind during teaching.
C of Competence
We start from competence, that is, from the ability to manage different situations effectively . In order to acquire it, it is necessary to let children experience new activities and things, and also to make inevitable mistakes along the way. In this way they understand what their strengths are, as long as the parents are willing to let them do and recognize their skills!
C of Confidence
Confidence means trust , a characteristic that is not cultivated by telling children that they are special, but by supporting them in developing skills. When they realize they know how to do something, and recognize it, they gain confidence in their own abilities. Kenneth also recommends praising them for specific things rather than staying on the generic.
C of Connection
The connection is linked to the love and empathy that as parents we show to our children . If they feel understood from an emotional point of view, they will feel safe and consequently freer to express their feelings, without being ashamed of them, finding solutions to problems. To create this connection, however, it is important not to force them to suppress negative emotions , because it does not help to get better, if anything, it makes things worse. Also important is not only the connection with the family but also that with educational, sports, civic groups and so on, which help develop a sense of community.
C of Character
All families have an opinion as to what is right and what is wrong . And children need to know this in order to build their own identity, even if they may deviate from our vision as adults. Obviously, setting a good example is always an excellent idea!
C of Contribution
The awareness of being able to contribute to something bigger is very useful for acquiring resilience. Because from an early age it makes us feel “useful” helping us to find a purpose that goes beyond individuality . Motivating children to act to improve the world, to make it a fairer and more beautiful place, perhaps even by volunteering, is a good way to help them cultivate resilience.
The sixth C concerns the ability to deal with situations and problems , distinguishing between real crises and momentary setbacks, in order to get children used to not accumulating unnecessary stress from an early age. To do this we can help them understand the difference between these things and at the same time offer them tools to find relief, such as a relaxation technique, for example Yoga, a few hours of sleep, a workout.
C of Control
The sense of control is very important for children because without it, they will live life passively, relying entirely on their parents. For this reason it is essential to teach it avoiding to make all decisions for them.