Friday, March 25, 2011

Fostering Resilience In Your Child

By Nathalie Kunin|March 25, 2011|9:49 a.m.

Resilience might best be described as the capacity to cope. We find this capacity in adults (Americans’ resilience in the face of the recession), in governing bodies (Haiti’s resilience in the aftermath of the earthquake), and even in Marvel comic book protagonists (Our resilient hero took on his twelve captors single-handedly!). But how often do we find, and foster, this capacity in our children?

An estimated two million teenager’s battle depression each year. What at first appears to be an outrageous figure seems quite plausible when we consider the adversity that our children face on a daily basis: pressure from their parents, their teachers and their peers; hours of homework and test preparation; entrance exams, interviews and applications; and all things outside of school. Resilience teaches children to stand up to that adversity, learn from it, and ultimately become stronger because of it.

Following are three simple concepts that parents can practice at home to foster resilience: Stay Positive-Try to keep things positive at home—both in your words and your actions. Promote Independence-Encourage self-direction in children. Teach those good habits— like beginning their homework without having to ask them to do so. Get Out of the House-A key component to resilience is the willingness to adapt to an ever-changing environment. So change the environment. The more willing you are to leave your comfort zone, the more willing they’ll be to adjust to their surroundings.

Try these simple changes in your household. You will be giving your child the tools he or she needs to build resilience and face challenges with a positive attitude.

Nathalie Kunin is the owner of Team Tutors ( and an educational consultant in Los Angeles. Contact Nathalie at 323-356-6160.

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