Dr. Robert Brooks, co-author of Raising
Resilient Children provided GreatDad with this list of tips for
raising resilient kids. “Resilient” children, he explains, are kids who have the coping skills
necessary to deal with adversity. These kids aren’t protected from the real world, but
are increasingly ready for real world challenges as they grow up.
- Build a strong foundation in your relationships with your
kids. Many people say their fondest memories of their parents are when
they had “special time” alone with the parent. It’s important for kids to hear words like,
“I really enjoy being with you.”
- Find out what makes your child feel
successful. Dr. Brooks calls these areas “islands of competence.”
He suggests that we all make sure that we are involved in and reinforce activities where
kids feel successful. These activities may not be the same areas a dad was strong in
while growing up, however. That means dads have to make an extra effort to understand
their children despite differences, and support their individual child’s
- Be demonstrative with your love. Dads, especially, need
to understand the value of the hug or the kiss in helping a child feel good about him or
herself. Dads should not hesitate to tell children “I love you.”
Playful. – Don’t miss an opportunity to get down on the floor and play with your
- Do not protect or isolate your child from failure.
Instead, make sure your child understands that failure is an opportunity to learn and do
better next time.
- Set limits. – Kids need limits and dads should
not feel hesitant to say ‘no,’ even if it brings momentary disappointment to their