I had a very happy childhood. I may not have realized it at the time, but it was: I lived in a safe neighborhood with lots of friends, we had family nearby, and we were very active in the community. Even after my parents divorced, I was a happy kid. And it may be because of their divorce that I had to grow up a little more and take on more responsibilities. In other words, I had to learn how to be more resilient.
So, that brings up a good question on how to cultivate positive characteristics like resilience, without going through the adverse experience part. I think there are ways to start small. For example, I think it is fine for children to lose at board games. My son hates losing, and sometimes he will even start to cry at us, but I think every loss helps him learn.
I also believe that my son should feel self pride. I do, of course, tell him when I am proud of him, but I love it when he says he is proud of himself when he accomplishes something for the first time.
Finally, I believe in the power of sleep away camps. How will children know what it is like to be away from home if you never let them leave your side? I have so many fond memories of camps when I was little, even though it was probably very hard for my parents to not know what I was up to for several weeks during the summer. (Or maybe I am wrong about that and they couldn't wait for the break.)
What I am trying to point out is that we need to teach our children to be resilient. Life is not always going to go their way, and as much as I like the magic of childhood, a little reality when they are young is better than a large scoop of it in adulthood.
How do you help teach your child to be resilient? Share your tips in the comments.