These Expert-Recommended Tips Will Ensure Your Kid Grows Up to Be Resilient AF

Sure, you've read in all the parenting books about how important it is to teach your children how to be resilient, but it's easier said than done. How do you discuss with a little kid how important it is to get back up after you've been knocked down? And what's the best way to model this behavior for them in your own daily life?

If you look at a breakdown by generation, studies have found that kids today are actually less resilient than those from previous generations. And what's to blame? Electronics. That's right. Your kid's iPad can be blamed for the regression, since they've been found to cause children to retreat into a fictional cyberworld that cripples their ability to act resilient when faced with real-life setbacks.

Dr. Michael J. Bradley, a licensed clinical psychologist, PhD, and the author of Crazy Stressed, has tips to help your kid learn how to use past mistakes to tackle their problems head on without giving up or growing frustrated.

Understand What "Resilience" Really Means
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Understand What "Resilience" Really Means

Although "resilience" might seem like one of those buzzwords you see on free pamphlets at your kid's pediatrician's office or on book covers in the self-help section, it's critical to teach your kid what the term means as soon as they hit grade school.

"Resilience is the ability to experience failure, pain, and loss, and then using recovery skills to 'get back in the game,'" Bradley told POPSUGAR. "It's not the ability to never feel negative things but rather is a set of skills to use to rebound from the hits that life presents."

Unfortunately, teaching your mini me to be resilient is no easy feat. In order for the concept to really sink in, you need to stop fixing each and every problem for your child.

"There's no easy way to acquire resilience. Parents must be willing to let their kids suffer negative things in the proper dose to build it up," Bradley said. "Bubble-wrapping kids kills their resilience."

Model Resilience to Help Foster Your Child's
POPSUGAR Photography

Model Resilience to Help Foster Your Child's

The saying "no risk, no reward" is true when it comes to personal growth. If you're not challenging yourself, it's nearly impossible to learn. And one of the best ways to instill a sense of resilience in your kid is by modeling it in your daily life as their parent.

"The surest path to fostering resilient kids is for them to watch their parents model it in action. Kids should watch their parents take appropriate growth-producing risks, crashing and burning, feeling that pain, and seeing them shake it off by framing those losses as the price you pay for eventual success."

Teaching your children how to identify their feelings without letting their decisions be completely dominated by them is also critical.

"Parents should narrate their feelings of fear and loss . . . they shouldn't believe their dad never gets scared," Bradley explained. "But Dad should then show their kids that he doesn't let the fact that he's scared of failure get the best of him or control the decisions he makes in his life."

Let Your Child Fail
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Let Your Child Fail

Even though letting the child you've raised fail seems completely counter-intuitive from a parenting standpoint, it's 100 percent necessary.

"Parents and kids need to understand failure is a very therapeutic thing in the proper dose. We all need to learn more from our failures than our successes, and if someone is never failing then they aren't challenging themselves enough to grow, utilize their potential, and become resilient," Bradley said.

If you want your kid to exceed their expectations for themselves down the road, it's important to find a "sweet spot" between the areas in which they're achieving goals and ones in which they're failing early on. "Parents should also convey that failure is OK if they're open to owning it, examining it, and deciding what they can do different the next time."

And if you fight your child's each and every battle, Bradley recommends bringing that behavior to a halt ASAP:

"Parents who refuse to let their kid fail by arguing with teachers or coaches over grades, disciplinary actions, or playing time can cripple their children by not letting them handle the consequences of their choices."

Get Them Back on Track If They've Had a Setback
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Get Them Back on Track If They've Had a Setback

Letting your child experience failure during the first few attempts at learning something new can actually lead to confidence.

"Confidence is really competence projected into the future," Bradley said. "It's the acquisition of specific skills, like throwing a ball, riding a bike, or playing the guitar — things that were at one time hard to do."

The takeaway here? Just because your little one doesn't get the hang of something the first time around, doesn't mean it's time to give up. "As kids gain competence they learn that their fears of 'I can't do that' are simply the precursors to learning and mastery, as long as they're persistent," he added.