Never underestimate the remarkable things young children are capable of. Each child possesses the potential for greatness and the ability to deal with life’s harshest lessons.
This superpower is called Resilience – the ability to thrive in the face of adversity, challenges, obstacles or any other significant source of stress. As parents, it’s our duty to help them acquire this superpower that will see them succeed no matter what the world throws at them.
Whilst some might claim there’s a genetic influence to consider, we believe that every child can learn, nurture and internalise the Five Pillars of Resilience.
By instilling resilience in their daily lives, we hope our children will rise above their challenges, determined to resolve tough situations independently through Resourcefulness and persistence.
You’ll notice that Resilient children display a strong sense of Daringness, Perseverance, Adaptability, Resourcefulness and Self-Reliance.
Resilient Children Are Raised With These Five Pillars Of Resilience
Here’s how you can build the Five Pillars of Resilience into your child and set them up for the future.
When faced with adversity, the body reacts by sharpening our senses and sending adrenalin to muscles in preparation for a fight or flight response. As a result, to threatening situations, we become stronger, faster, more alert and quicker to react. The heart starts pounding and cortisol (stress hormone) surges through the body for a brief time.
But over an extended period of time, staying switched-on in this state and stress can negatively affect the body and weaken the immune system. Therefore, students who often fall sick during examination periods or when they’re rushing to complete a project by pulling stressful all-nighters.
When facing trauma of some kind, children may become emotional, or withdraw from those around them. Some become defiant, angry or even resentful. So how can the Five Pillars of Resilience as outlined by AptaGro™ – Perseverance, Daringness, Resourcefulness, Self-Reliance and Adaptability – help to ground them for them to bounce back from these challenges?
To develop Perseverance, parents should aim to improve skills like determination, dedication, patience and staying focused on tasks till completion, and regulating emotions. Combined, these attributes will enable children to continue to pursue a challenge despite failures because they understand the importance of not giving up. They know that they will eventually crack the problem as a result of persistence.
Why not teach your child to ride a bicycle? Taking anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, riding a bike requires all the skills that build Perseverance.
First, tell your child you believe in them. Second, help them feel safe by putting on a helmet plus knee and elbow pads. Then head out to an open field so there’s enough space (with no distractions) and soft grass to cushion a fall. You might even consider removing the pedals to prompt your child to focus on balance, as they push themselves along.
Lastly, be ready to let go. Continuously complement their persistence, saying how proud you are of their efforts to crack this! You’ll be surprised how soon they’ll get the hang of things with your heartfelt support. Remember, the objective is to build tenacity and not give up because a task seems difficult at first.
In the process of persevering, children also need to be Daring. If you want your child to be Daring, then you must model this quality as well. Allow them to see daddy or mummy stepping out of their comfort zones. If you are terrified of roller coasters, face your fear and ride a child-friendly one at the nearest theme park with your child.
When your character is tested in front of your child, show them the strength you possess to do the right thing. Be their hero. The key is to dare to try something new, so your child is exposed to more experiences.
Motivational speaker and performance coach, Jim Fannin – who has conducted seminars for over half a million parents to boost their children’s bravery – has a good tip for parents of children who are two years and older.
Just before your child drifts off to sleep, say in loving and convincing voice, “I believe in you”. The next morning, greet your child with an upbeat message such as, “Good morning champion!”. Repeat this often, because studies have shown the mind is most receptive to positive suggestions just before going to sleep.
Pushing hard is important, but so is pushing smart. This is where Resourcefulness is required. Teach your child to value quick and clever solutions so that they can thrive in challenging circumstances. You want a child that can remain calm and rational so that they can evaluate what assets are on hand to help them get through a tough situation.
Don’t fall into the trap of doing things for your child if you feel they need your help. Instead, guide them through four easy steps for problem-solving.
First, understand the problem together with your child. Second, involve them in creating a plan by asking for ideas and encouraging more input from them. Third, carry out the agreed plan together. Lastly, look back at your efforts and evaluate them. Remember to praise your child for their actions and not only on the final result.
Do this day-by-day, and you’ll notice a difference in your child. Learning to think and evaluate conditions on their own two feet are the building blocks of Self-Reliance. But make no mistake, Self-Reliance is not unfettered freedom.
To successfully integrate this quality as part of your child’s values, studies have shown that the reliable presence of at least one supportive relationship is the vital key. That’s why Self-Reliance is defined as making one’s own decisions yet being connected to family and friends.
Another suggestion to consider – actively involve children in making family decisions. Together with your child, ask their opinion on their preferred restaurant for family dinners, where to go on vacation, what movies to watch, or how to divide family chores.
Through these experiences, your children will learn about decision-making processes as well as increase their self-confidence. They gain experience in debating, negotiating and communicating thoughts and feelings to other members of the family in efforts to collaborate and accomplish goals.
Lastly, we also want our children to be adaptable. Adaptability is the skill to respond suitably and quickly in difficult conditions. When children can respond to fast-changing circumstances, they are able to thrive under any condition.
The AptaGro™ Resilience Location List has a whole bunch of fascinating places that offer an exciting break from regular routines and schedules. Take ‘Farm In The City’ for example.
Here, you can challenge your children to ride a pony on their own or interact with animals like porcupines, parrots and pelicans during feeding time. Each activity requires your child to step out of their comfort zone and represents your opportunity to encourage them to throw off rigidity and embrace new experiences.
The Five Pillars of Resilience – as outlined by AptaGro™ – isn’t about never failing or constant and persistent success. It’s about getting back up again no matter what everyday life throws at you. But before Mum and Dad can open the door to a world of opportunities, make sure to provide a foundation of health and wellbeing through proper nutrition.
AptaGro™ formula milk contains a patented combination of Prebiotics and Probiotics, along with important nutrients to help supports their body and learning development.
Thus, when you inspire your child to be Daring to take on new challenges, to Persevere through difficulty, to Adapt to unfamiliar situations, to be Resourceful when seeking solutions and to do it all with Self-Reliance, they’ll pick up these lessons quickly enough. The formula for future success begins with a Resilient body and a bright mind.
From this foundation, the Five Pillars of Resilience will each contribute to a resilient child who will not shy from new experiences or be afraid to chase his or her dreams.