May 4, 2021
This last year has been extremely challenging for all of us. We know that stress, anxiety, and depression have increased tremendously during the COVID-19 pandemic and through personal experience, many of us have seen the difficulties in distance learning. But today I’m shifting gears. I don’t have a guest to interview today because I felt compelled to celebrate the resilience we have seen in children through this last year.
In today’s episode, I offer five things we can do as parents and educators to help develop resilience in our kids. Many have shown that they have more resilience than we ever thought possible, but as we re-emerge into normalcy, how can we continue to celebrate this development and support it further?
[1:14] - A year into the pandemic, we continue to put a big emphasis on stress and the difficulties children and families have been experiencing.
[2:31] - Although stress and difficulties have increased significantly during this last year, Karen is taking this episode to celebrate the accomplishments of children.
[3:14] - “Adversity births opportunity and innovation.” Dr. Wilson has seen this in her own children, their friends, and the clients she works with.
[3:45] - Dr. Wilson shares an excerpt from an article she had the opportunity to contribute to.
[4:54] - What is most important to children is that they feel loved and valued. Karen shares the impactful statement of a family member that children are more resilient than we think.
[5:46] - We can change the wiring of our brains through experiences we expose it to. Dr. Wilson describes how the brain can be resilient.
[6:46] - Karen gives five things we can do to help develop resilience in our children starting with the first: Strengthen our own relationship with them.
[8:11] - We can also help kids navigate friendships as they are re-emerging into the world from social isolation.
[8:57] - Adequate sleep is another thing we can provide to kids to help build resilience.
[10:18] - The reason sleep is connected to resilience is because sleep increases the capacity to regulate emotions.
[11:14] - Too little sleep can exacerbate the stress level we already have and this is prominent in children who are feeling the stress of learning difficulties.
[11:33] - Sufficient physical activity is another thing we can promote with children to develop resilience. Dr. Wilson describes how this can affect mood and anxiety.
[13:22] - Any physical activity is a benefit, but Karen explains why sports improve executive functioning skills too.
[15:02] - Sports also provide opportunities for social bonding with peers and give children a sense of pride.
[16:44] - Another factor that Dr. Wilson shares is screen and media exposure. This was talked about in more detail in a previous episode. The more time spent on the screen is less time engaging in physical activity.
[18:00] - We want to nurture and continue to nurture a growth mindset in our children. Dr. Wilson contrasts this with a fixed mindset and gives examples of each.
[20:25] - We need to help develop executive functioning skills within our children while they are developing.
[21:14] - Mindfulness is incredibly important as well. Mindfulness meditation is proven to help focus and regulation of emotions.
[22:08] - Research has shown that optimism is one of the key characteristics of resilient people. As parents and educators, we need to nurture a sense of optimism.
[23:10] - Although there have been struggles and increased stress over the past year, many children have shown a tremendous amount of resilience throughout this last year and we need to celebrate that.
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