Building Resilience in Young People

Building Resilience in Young People

Building resilience is a key life skill which helps young people to be able to cope with the challenges and difficulties they may face in life. 

Settling into a new school or class; making positive friendships; re-engaging when they don’t initially succeed at a task; overcoming a potentially complex familial situation are all examples of circumstances which require an element of resilience. This skill can be referred to as your ‘bounce back’ ability and it is a crucial life skill for everyday life. Here are a few tips that should help encourage your young person to recover from tough situations they may face. 


  1. Learning to Fail Successfully 

Failing is part of everyday learning so explaining to young people that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them enables them to select better choices in the future.   


  1. Normal Setbacks

Experiencing difficulties in life is not unusual and showing young people that they are experiencing the same problems as others can help them to normalise their issues. Helping young people find solutions to problems enables them to realize that with perseverance they are able to overcome matters and successfully accomplish challenging tasks. 


  1. Perspective

Think about the bigger picture to help keep things in perspective.  For example, if a test didn’t go well, how can they use this to learn to work more effectively for the next one. Each step in their education is merely one to help them progress to the next step. Furthermore, these negative feelings of failure may help motivate them to do things differently in the future. 


  1. Positivity

Modelling positivity to your child by trying to remain calm and consistent in how you handle challenges goes a long way to demonstrating resilience to young people. Create a positive environment emphasising the importance of relationships. 


  1. Humour

Laughter is a great way to reduce tension, when appropriate, it can be a good way to get through tough times. 


  1. Support

Provide support for young people particularly when they are trying to manage their emotions appropriately. Give them advice about who to turn to both at home and at school; their Tutor, Head of Year, another Teacher, Health Centre, School Counsellor, or Deputy Head for Pastoral Care. 


  1. Change

Life is full of changes, some young people find these harder to accept than others. Working on smaller, achievable goals in the near future rather than one huge goal in the distant future can help young people feel they are progressing to an achievable target.  Therefore, when obstacles and changes come along they are more likely to be able to cope with them. 


  1. Learn to Take Care of Themselves 

Make sure young people take the time they need to relax, enjoy themselves and do a range of activities with their time. Of course school work is important, however students work more effectively if they have a good sleep pattern, healthy eating habits, periods of exercise, as well as finding activities they enjoy and find relaxing: keeping this balance is very important.  

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