Competence is the ability to know how to effectively handle stressful situations. Kids that can recognize what’s needed of them in certain situations and how to respond appropriately will feel more competent as they deal with similar situations in the future.
Many other activities provide the opportunity for kids to practice and build their competence, such as:
Encouraging independence with self-led play
Promoting curiosity - and mistakes!
Consider toy sets that encourage children to try new things. This MINDSTORMS® Robot Inventor set, for example, has 949 pieces and five unique robot designs to build, offering several different ways to play and learn.
Confident children believe in themselves and their abilities to overcome real-life situations. The more frequently a child can demonstrate their competence, the more confident they will feel.
Writing or drawing prompts can be a fun activity for building confidence, as children can communicate and reflect on what makes them feel brave.
Children with a strong sense of connection are likely to feel more resilient. Whether they have close relationships with family, friends, or community groups, a child with connections is likely to feel they belong.
To help a child feel more connected, communication is a must. Group activities can encourage children to share their own experiences and opinions, to feel listened to and supported.
Children with a strong sense of character tend to recognize their self-worth and confidence. This awareness directly feeds into resilience, as they can understand not only what choices need to be made in different situations, but also that they are capable of making choices that align with their sense of what’s right.
Character-strengthening activities can nurture feelings of self-esteem, empathy and can even help a child to identify their values. Activities might include exploring new passions and experiences or introducing activities into daily routines.
If a child can feel a personal sense of contribution to the world around them, they can learn the power of generosity and feel needed. A child who contributes will also experience the impact of their actions, which will enhance their competence, sense of connection and character.
To support this learning, show children how to be generous with their time and attention. You can also find and create chances for your child to contribute, perhaps by helping you with something specific regularly. This resilience activity can teach them to appreciate others and to contribute more.
Coping skills are essential for nurturing resilience in children. Coping skills such as stress reduction and social skills allow children to be prepared to overcome any challenges they face in life.
To help a child to cope, showcase positive coping strategies so they can see them in action. You can also create an open environment that promotes talking and sharing in a safe space.
As children discover that they have control over their reactions and choices, they are likely to know how best to make difficult decisions. It’s this sense of control that can support a child as they bounce back from challenging situations.
You can help a child to feel in control by allowing them to make small decisions by themselves. This might be something as simple as choosing a game to play or a meal to enjoy.
You can also teach children to understand how actions and choices create consequences. This can help them to see how their behavior impacts their future — and the future of others.
Resilience Activities for Kids: How can you build resilience in children?