How to Help Children Become More Resilient
September 2019

“How to Help Children Become More Resilient,” Ensign, September 2019

How to Help Children Become More Resilient

little boy on a zipline

Photograph from Getty Images

“The original definition of the word resilience had to do with a material’s ability to resume its shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed. Today we commonly use the word to describe our ability to bounce back from adversity. …

“As children develop resilience, they believe they can influence and even control outcomes in their lives through effort, imagination, knowledge, and skill. … They focus on what they can do rather than on what is outside their control” (Lyle J. Burrup, “Raising Resilient Children,” Ensign, Mar. 2013, 13).

  • Consistently offer desirable rewards for the actions and behaviors you would like to reinforce.

  • Praise children’s efforts.

  • Tell children they have inherent worth because they are sons or daughters of God.

  • Define failure as temporary and as an opportunity to learn.

  • Define success as a product of hard work and sacrifice.

  • Discuss rules and set logical consequences that are reasonable, related to the behavior, and respectful of both parent and child.