In a previous post, I identified 3 factors that heavily influence a child’s resiliency- internal makeup, immediate family, and extended community. Let’s take a moment to look at the first factor- Internal Makeup
Help Them Know Who They Are
Internal makeup is your child’s inner world- how they feel about themselves, their abilities, where they see themselves fitting into the world. It is important that we help our children identify their skills and abilities and give them the language to understand who they are.
One example of how to do this I learned from the great parenting gurus, Richard and Linda Eyre. ( their amazing parenting site is here ). Ever so often, they would write the first initial of a talent their children possessed on each of their five fingers. So they would write “A” for “artist” or “F” for friend. This not only helps your child identify their talents, but then be reminded of them as they walk around with these letters on their fingertips ( or until they washed off!).
Acknowledge when your child exhibits these talents or qualities ( “You are so good at fixing things. How did you come up with that? “) Give your child opportunities to use these skills ( “ You have a real talent for writing. Do you think you could write a story for your little sister?”)
If you help your child know who they are, they won’t have to look to the world to tell them.