How can you teach your teens to be more resilient?
The youth of today will face a variety of challenges in the future, so teaching resilience to teens is an important responsibility of parents and educators. The effects of climate change, overpopulation, and the loss of biodiversity may not be so apparent or as dramatic as the wars that our grandfathers have endured; however, these global issues will add extra burden to the problems that are common to adulthood the world over.
In order to grow into successful adults, teens must learn to become more resilient in the face of adversaries.
What does it mean to be resilient?
To be resilient is to stay in the struggle to achieve a desired goal, despite having to face setbacks, failures, and limited resources. Many goals that are important in life require resilience. For you, raising children is a struggle that you must stick with until they are fully grown. For our children, working hard for a scholarship at a dream university can be one struggle that matters so much to them.
What do resilient teenagers have in common?
1. Resilient teens are aware of their emotions, and can regulate them well
Resilient teenagers are not emotionless when they have failed or have been rejected. Of course, they will experience sadness, anger, and perhaps envy and resentment. However, they are fully aware of them and do not try to control them (i.e. to suppress emotions, to “bottle them up”).
Instead, they express their emotions appropriately without harming others or themselves. They process their emotions and allow them to pass, but not dwelling on them unnecessarily. They seek to understand themselves better, and to look for healthy remedies to regulate negative emotions. They understand that negative emotions are unavoidable, and that it’s natural and healthy to feel them.
2. Resilient teens are aware of the different perspectives that people have towards an event
Rather than looking for people to blame, they seek to understand various points of views for a more balanced judgement of an event. They will take the blame for any mistake that they admit to have made, and to take on the responsibility to learn from them.
They communicate diplomatically about how each person involved can correct or prevent the problem. Although they respect every person’s point of view, they do not abandon their principles. They have a strong sense of boundaries, and will take action if a person disrespects those boundaries.
3. Resilient teens know what they can control and what they don’t
They recognize that many things in life are out of their control. They may try as hard as they can to reach a goal, but they understand that their success is not 100% guaranteed. This sets them up with the right expectations that failure can happen, and it is normal.
Because of this expectation, they are more flexible and creative. They often anticipate challenges, conceive of backup plans, maintain stronger dedication, and place more faith in God. They also often become more thankful, and do not feel entitled to specific outcomes.
Resilience is a sign of maturity
Essentially, resilient people understand that their emotions are often the greatest barrier to success, so they learn to cope with a variety of mental and emotional states. At IPEKA Integrated Christian School, we believe that teaching resilience to teens gives them a better understanding of the world and the people in it.