Building resilience - top tips for parents

Parenting NI

Resilience increases a child’s ability to cope with challenges life can throw at them such as; adapting to school, making friends, and at times more serious life events like a death in the family, divorce or separation. All children can develop these skills, however resilience needs to be nurtured and strengthened. Parents play a vital role in promoting and supporting the building of resilience in their children.

Normal setbacks

Explain to your child that it is not unusual to experience difficulties in life and show them that problems can be solved. Let your child know it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them to help make better decisions the next time.

Keeping perspective 

Encourage your child to keep things in perspective by looking at problems within the bigger picture. Remind them that bad feelings don’t last, can have a purpose and can prompt us to do things differently in the future.

Provide opportunity for learning 

You can illustrate resilience to your child by pointing out how characters overcame difficult scenarios when reading stories together.


Model resiliency in your own behaviour; try to remain calm and consistent in how you handle challenges. Create a positive environment emphasising the importance of relationships.

Hang on to humour

Remember the importance of having fun – laughter is a great way of reducing tension. Well intentioned, playful humour can help you and your child get through tough times.


Provide your child with support and help them manage their emotions appropriately. Let them know that they have people who love and care about them and can give them help and advice when they need it.

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