Attributes Children Need for Resilience in Stressful Times [Top 7 for 2022]

puppy and girlAn attribute dependent on innate qualities developed through environment and childhood upbringing is called resilience.

Here are seven traits to foster in children in the preparation of unknown challenges.

Intuitive Optimism

Intuitive optimism is understanding that if you try hard enough — and long enough — you will be successful in your endeavors.

A key quality that contributes to resilience during times of high stress it’s essentially the belief that you will get through any trial that you face, just as you have in the past. It’s the knowledge that this too shall pass.

Intrinsic Motivation

Motivation is the drive to do or accomplish something, but extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are fundamentally different.

Extrinsic motivation is fueled by external factors and rewards, whereas intrinsic motivation comes from within. When you have that internal drive, you can get through stressful events knowing coming out the other side is — in and of itself — your reward.

Simultaneous Processing

Practical intelligence — also referred to as simultaneous processing — is when you take pieces of information and combine them into a whole.

This is big-picture thinking, and it’s essential for building resilience. It allows you to understand that small hurdles have a larger purpose.

Compassionate Empathy

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Empathy, or the ability to share in the feelings of others, allows you to imagine yourself walking in another’s shoes.

It helps in stressful times, for it encourages you to see everyone is facing the challenge together. This is particularly relevant in contributing to family resilience.

Compassionate empathy runs counter to anger at or disappointment in others, making it less likely that you will play the blame game — a game incompatible with resilience.

Virtuous Responsibility

It’s important to be responsible — but what drives that responsibility is also crucial. If your sense of responsibility stems from obligation or obedience, you won’t necessarily uphold that behavior without external guidance or pressure.

Virtuous responsibility is intrinsic and guided by a moral system you genuinely want to uphold. This means you will continue to have respect for yourself — and for those around you — when under stress.

Genuine Altruism

You may have heard the quote famously attributed to Mister Rogers: When scary things happen, “Look for the helpers.” It makes sense why seeing people help others — or better yet, offering that help yourself — enhances resilience.

Altruism gives a sense of purpose during stress, and putting others’ well-being on your priority list can lower your  anxiety levels as a result.

Measured Fairness

Prioritizing others from a place of genuine kindness and concern is important, but the most resilient people know that you need to put yourself first.

Think of the instructions you’re given on an airplane: In the event of a loss in cabin pressure, secure your own mask before helping your child. Why? In stressful situations you must take care of yourself to be able to care for others.

To aid in the growth of these qualities of tenacity in your child with social, developmental, or behavioral challenges, consider social and emotional learning assessment tools that will help guide your next steps.

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Claire Henderson on Email
Claire Henderson
I've run my own sports nutrition consultancy and am interested in all things health, diet and nutrition. I also have an IBS which took me a while to sort out via reinvesting into my microbiome. I'm a big fan of a British nutrition superstar and the author of 'Clever Guts', medical doctor Michael Mosley. Are you?

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