Building Resiliency in Children

A human ability to recover quickly from disruptive change, or misfortune without

being overwhelmed or acting in dysfunctional or harmful ways.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resiliency is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change.

Arguably the most important life skill is resiliency. It allows our children to use past errors as learning experiences. Teaching our children how to adjust their strategies, and try again, much like countless revolutionary of the past. Here, are a few words about how to build resilience and confidence in kids with ADHD and other life challenges.

We want our children to be empowered, resulting in their abilities to be “powerful”, responsible and in control of their actions. When kids are over-stressed they can’t build on their skills. We must challenge them and allow them to build their skills set, slowly and steadily. Remember the old adage, “slow and steady wins the race”. Keep this approach in mind when building resiliency. Empower our children to build on their skill set, not to feel overwhelmed.

Applying just the right amount of “pressure” will build strength and flexibility, applying to much pressure will lead to a breakdown, just like when trying a shoelace. A child who is not being successful and is being pushed to hard will become resistant, argumentative, confrontational, reactive, avoiding and may even shut down.

Numerous times I have been told by parents that homework leads to battles in their home. If the student does not know how to do the homework, they may tell the parent they don’t have any homework, or they conveniently forget it at school or “lose” it in the black hole called their backpacks.

The answer is simple, but not easy: Expose students to activities that are slightly below what you know they can do. This is that place that feels good, that place of competence and empowerment that is “doable” and comfortable learning and growing takes place.