Parents and carers

You can help your child become more resilient.

Resilience is defined as "normal development under difficult conditions". Resilience is something that we all have, but why do some children do better under difficult circumstances than others?

There are six recognised areas of a young person’s life that fit together to help them become more resilient and more able to "bounce back" when they are having a tough time. We've listed them below along with tips to get you started. By helping your child become more resilient, you're equipping them better for life.

YoungMinds have also developed a Parents' Survival Guide which may be useful for you.

Remember, if your child is in crisis or you need emergency help, use the MindEd crisis resources to get help quickly.

Having a secure family and home is important for your child's resilience and is associated with them having parents who treat them warmly and sensitively. As a parent or carer you need to be able to take account of your child's needs and respond appropriately.

You can find help and resources for helping to improve your family and home situation at Minded.

Doing well at school is associated with better resilience. Many children and young people reach a stage where learning is seen as ‘not cool’. This means you need to listen and respond to your child's imagination, interests and creativity in ways that connect directly with their aims for their life after school.

If you think your child is experiencing poor concentration or isn't engaging with school, and this is affecting their education, you can find help and support through Minded.

Having good friendships when growing up is associated with better resilience. Having friends helps children and young in times of stress, and can also help them deal with stress. Good friends also help children and young people grow as people and improve their ability to make good decisions and contribute positively to society.

If you think your child is being affected by problems with their friendships, YoungMinds offer advice for families on how to help.

Talents and interests are the way that your child expresses who they are. They don't have to be the best at their chosen activity for it to be a big part of their life. If they have a talent or an  interest, even if they don't see it themselves, you have a role to play in encouraging and supporting them.

  • Find out what your child/young person is interested in, by asking them, or asking them what they're good at
  • Ask if their friends do anything they would like to try
  • Speak to their school to find out what activities are available now, or could be available in the future
  • Have a look at what's already going on for young people in your local area
  • Have you noticed that they're good at something, but they don't seem to realise? Talk to them about it.
  • If there's something they'd like to try or do more of, can you help them out? Could you drive them to a new club or volunteer to help run a school club?

Having positive values usually means you are a helpful, caring and responsible person. This can be helping others, comforting people when they are upset and sharing with others. Young people who have positive values are usually found to be more resilient.

If your child is struggling to display positive values you can try to:

  • Provide clear rules and principles for behaviour
  • Reward kindness and show disapproval of unkindness
  • Explain the effects of hurting others
  • Present moral messages in an emotional, rather than kind and calm manner
  • Tell your child regularly that they are kind and helpful
  • Be helpful, caring and responsible: lead by example
  • Be empathic and understanding
    (adapted from Daniel and Wassell, 2002)

Social skills are how your child shows the ability to plan and make decisions, understand cause and effect, reflect on their thoughts, feelings and behaviour, and problem solve.

If they can do this, they will show signs of empathy, being able to see things from others' points of view and will be good at resolving conflict.

MindEd have a selection of common social issues which children and young people can experience and they offer coping strategies and advice.