8 Ways to Foster Resilience​

The ability to come back from challenges is a highly important life skill. But how do you foster this in your child? By creating a culture of resilience. When you are faced with a challenge or a long-term project, be a role model for your child.


Tackle the issue from different angles, be honest about your struggles, and, whenever possible, keep trying until you accomplish your goal. This shows your child that when you are solving a puzzle or working toward a large goal, it can take a combination of trial and error, ingenuity, and perseverance to realize the end result.


Seeing this modeled by family members will help them when they inevitably face challenges in their lives. Most importantly: do not be afraid to fail. Teaching them that it is okay to fail or to let go of something that isn’t working is just as important for children to see as your accomplishments.


Here are eight activities you can do with your child or encourage them to do alone that will teach them resilience:

  1. martial arts
  2. learning a musical instrument
  3. team or solo sports
  4. mindfulness or other meditation practices
  5. yoga, tai chi, or qigong
  6. creating art
  7. building projects
  8. reframing stories


I’ll say a little about that last one: reframing stories. What I mean by this is to tell your child stories about people who have overcome challenges. We could frame many stories either as tragedies or successes, and showing people’s resilience, rather than focusing on the hardships, helps build a growth mindset.


One example: Bethany Hamilton, the woman who surfs with one arm (pictured above). She was attacked by a shark at 16, survived, and went on to be one of the world’s best surfers. This May, she came in 3rd in the Fiji Women’s Pro, beating some of the world’s best surfers after coming into the competition as a wild card.​