A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it. --Chinese Proverb
Resilience is not only about bouncing back in tough times. It’s also about recognizing when you can’t change something and being adaptable so you can change your thoughts about that something. It’s about moving with the waves; sometimes surfing, sometimes dog paddling but always getting back to shore. Our teenagers face many problems: both big and small, as well as externally- and self-made.
Parents with teens who are moving to new home naturally want to teach their teens the skills to cope with this change, but resilience is more than merely coping with change and transition. Resilience means you come out on the other side not the same but stronger. Resilience is about learning and growing and building confidence. When be build resilience “muscle” we not only bounce back, but we are more willing to take risks because we have built confidence in that resilience “muscle.”
The first step in helping our teens build resilience is building their self-respect. When our teens make positive choices about their own behavior and about how they expect to be treated, they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and more likely to expect they will be OK even when times get tough.
Be aware of the language your teen uses; not the obvious inappropriate language but the self-depreciating language. Notice how often your teen says “I can’t” or “I have to.” Coaching them to change the way they look at their circumstances goes a long way toward building resilience. “I can’t do this!” vs. “This is hard, but I will figure it out” or even, “This is hard, but I know where to go for help” is the difference between “I am not capable” and “I AM capable.”
For more information on building resilience in your teen, click here.
For more information about the Moving Families Initative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.