Singapore’s education system – though known for its success in producing excellent students, can be extremely stressful for students. This is why it is of utmost importance for us to build our children’s mental resilience to help them cope with stress.
Otherwise, they would feel overwhelmed and might develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. They’ll also be prone to depression and anxiety.
What are some ways you can build up your child’s mental resilience? Let’s find out.
Boost their Confidence
Building and boosting your child’s confidence is the key to a strong mental resilience. After all, this confidence will develop into a strong self-belief which, in turn, becomes resilience. It also builds self-esteem, which is crucial since your child knows their value and self-worth.
Here are some ways you can boost your child’s confidence:
1. Spend time with them
2. Be attentive to what they say
3. Be generous with your praises
4. Avoid labelling (using words like lazy, naughty or daft)
5. Have realistic expectations
6. Teach them to think positively
7. Help your child explore their strengths through hobbies and various activities
8. Encourage decision-making and independence
Encouraging independence in your child is a great way to build their mental resilience. After all, overcoming challenges on their own builds their confidence and an ‘I can do it’ spirit.
Of course, they won’t succeed every time, and this also allows them to experience failure and learn how to get back up. This builds their mental resilience since they learn to carry on and learn from their mistakes.
Here are some ways you can encourage independence in your child:
1. Let your child help out with chores
2. Help them to develop independent decision-making skills
3. Assign them responsibilities
4. Let them have their say
5. Let them experiment freely
6. Don’t spoon-feed them
Help Them See Failure Differently
It is important to help our children to see failure differently. We often think that failure is a crushing defeat, a step back.
However, making your child see failure this way affects their self-esteem and psychology because they’ll see themselves as disappointments or as someone unable to do well. These negative impressions of themselves chip away at their mental strength.
Instead, you want them to see failure as a learning opportunity or something that serves to strengthen them. After all, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
Teach Them Healthy Coping Methods
A part of building your child’s mental resilience is having healthy coping methods to relieve stress. This is because when stress accumulates, it decreases your child’s mental resilience.
But at the same time, you don’t want your child to release stress through unhealthy coping methods. This is why you should teach them healthy coping techniques that they can carry on into adulthood. For example:
Build Strong Relationships
Creating and developing strong and positive relationships builds a strong network for your child to rely on. This is especially important since they will be your child’s support in times of hardship.
This support mechanism also builds your child’s self-esteem and helps them feel less isolated in their stresses and struggles. This lowers their stress levels and serves as an outlet for your child (see the previous point).
Building up your child’s mental resilience not only helps them to cope with the stresses of school life but is also something that will help them in the future. For example, when they step into the workforce, and even when they retire!
This is why it is important to build their mental resilience early on.