Back in March as our normal lives began to shut down and transition to quarantine some individuals came up with the idea that this might be a time to reinvent ourselves. Once the days stretched into weeks and then into months some of us struggled and continue to struggle with just getting through the day. Some individuals are rising to meet the challenges that are facing them, why is there such a discrepancy? Resilience may be one of those differences. Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.
Our children are watching us model our resiliency right now for them during this difficult time. No pressure mom and dad. There are ways that we can increase not only their resiliency in difficult times but our own resiliency as well.
There are 7 areas that have been focused on in studies on children, called the 7 C’s of Resiliency (Ginsberg, K.R, Moraghan, M, 2006).
The 7 C’s of Resiliency
The first C is COMPETENCE
This area focuses on how children effectively handle various situations, typically learned through experience. Someone feels confident when they are given opportunities to develop important skills they will become confident. To grow this area a parent would focus on their child’s strengths and how to let them safely make mistakes. Notice if you are focused more on your child’s mistakes than what they do well. If you have more than one child are you recognizing their individual strengths without comparing them to their siblings. We have a lot of time together while quarantining, help your child to identify their strengths.
The next C is CONFIDENCE
A child needs to believe in their own abilities to face and cope with challenges and to navigate the world around them. To grow this area in their child a parent should help their child recognize what they are doing right and what they are doing well. Watch out to avoid shaming a child for their actions or giving them more than they can handle. With COVID-19 there are so many uncertainties for our “new normal”. Parents can continue to identify areas where their children are excelling during this time.
The next C is CONNECTION
We are social beings and your child is looking for a connection to others – family, friends, and their community to give them a sense of security. Connection helps to prevent children from seeking attention from destructive alternatives. To grow this area allowing your child to express emotions openly, working with your child to address conflict for resolving problems. Sadly, we do not have an abundance of social interaction right now with the following safety measures during COVID-19. You can help your child connect to friends over online video conference (i.e., facetime, zoom)
The next C is CHARACTER
Children with a fundamental sense of right and wrong will follow their own values and be caring towards others. They will have a larger sense of self-worth and confidence. To grow this area developing a sense of empathy and how their behaviors affect others will increase their character. They will watch to see how their parents model caring for others to make their own future reactions to others. During COVID-19 your children have a front row to all of your statements about what is happening in our world right now. Help by guiding them to see how they can possibly help with taking care of the safety requirements (i.e., washing hands, staying 6 feet apart, wearing a mask when out in public).
The next C is CONTRIBUTION
This allows children to see how they can make a difference in the world. This motivates them to make choices that will help the world around us. As parents, we can model this for our children by serving others and volunteering our time. This will show them how to contribute to the needs of others. During COVID-19, we have seen how others are struggling during this time, but showing your children how they can help in small ways will show them how they can have an impact on the situation.
The next C is COPING
When our children have various coping strategies it helps to protect them from unsafe behaviors. When children know how to cope with the stress they are better prepared to overcome the challenges they face. Remember that just telling a child to stop doing a negative behavior does not work. To grow this area, parents can look at their positive coping strategies. They can look to see if they are talking, listening, and sharing what is safe, comfortable, and productive alternatives to experiences their children are facing right now.
The final C is CONTROL
When children know they can control the outcomes of their decisions they will increase their ability to handle adverse situations. When children think that control is out of their hands they become passive and pessimistic. To help grow this area, parents should look to see if they are making all of the decisions for their children. Helping your children to see how their decisions impact actions and choices will increase their feeling of control in their lives. Parents can show them how their actions produce consequences.
There are so many unknowns about our new normal but together we can help to shape the future for ourselves and our children. Specialized Therapy Associates can help you navigate this future for you and your children during these difficult times. Call 201-488-6678 for an appointment.