Our first instinct as parents is to protect our children. Inevitably, we can’t protect them from everything. This is why inner strength, resilience, emotional regulation are so important. Teaching our children how to help themselves is one of the best ways to protect our kids.

By helping them develop their emotional intelligence and teaching them healthy coping skills for high-stress situations, we’re setting them up for success in the “real world.” Children and teenagers endure many stressors throughout their adolescent years. Here’s what you can do to help them get through it.

 

Two teen girls sitting on couch

What is inner strength?

A child’s inner strength is their ability to make healthy choices for their body and mind. It’s synonymous with resilience. The first step to helping our children cope with emotional situations is to help them keep their bodies healthy. Encourage them to make healthy food choices. Model the behaviors you want to see from them, like daily movement and drinking lots of water.

Another part of the equation is helping them explore their passions. Our children need an intimate understanding of what brings them joy. By exploring their passions, they’ll find a sense of purpose and inspiration, starting them on the path to healthy coping mechanisms.

What do we mean by resilient kids?

Resilience is something like emotional armor. It’s not about deflecting emotions, though. It’s about understanding and managing them. Resilience is a multi-dimensional toolbox with key tools and abilities to help reduce stress. Resilient children can use these tools to thrive despite adversity. Some signs of a resilient person are:

Self-aware and discusses their thoughts and emotions
Responsive instead of reactive
Understands they’re capable of adaptation
Focuses on problem-solving instead of only the problem
Asks for help when they need it
Wants to sort out conflicts verbally

Tips for teaching your child resilience:

Teen girl on skateboard

-Talk with your child often and listen when they talk about how they’re feeling and their opinions about how things operate in the world.
-Whenever they’re feeling low, help them find the positive instead of the negative.
-Model how to accept feedback and criticism.
-Go on nature walks together and spend time in nature.
-Practice deep breathing or meditation exercises together whenever life feels chaotic.

What does emotional regulation mean?

Emotional regulation helps us stay calm when emotions are high. Children with strong emotional intelligence have better control over their actions, even when they’re in highly emotional states.

Emotional regulation looks like this:

Ability to experience, manage, and talk about a range of emotions
Healthy coping behaviors in response to stress
Willingness to adjust during transitions and new situations
Tips for teaching your child emotional regulation

Your child’s primary example of emotional regulation is you. Modeling positive behavior is the first step.

Encourage your child to take a step back and take a deep breath whenever their emotions are high.
Help them find their calm before they react to a situation.
Build your child’s emotional vocabulary by helping them name their emotions.
Help them understand that actions have consequences.
Help them identify their stressors or triggers and healthy ways to cope.
Encourage positive outlets for their physical energy.
Be as consistent as possible with as many aspects of life as you can.

After you’ve developed positive methods, give them control of how they express their emotions.

I can help you identify positive parenting tools for building resilient kids. You’re probably already using many of them, like spending one-on-one time with your child and being active in their school.

Read more about children and teen counseling and reach out for a consultation. Let’s talk about ways you can help your child become the strongest version of themselves.