How does your child handle disappointment?  What happens if they don’t win the game, election or friend? Do they want to quit the team when they’re not picked to play?

Have a Plan B

Resilience helps people deal with disappointments, setbacks, stress,and even trauma. Resilient people see an obstacle as a learning experience, have a plan B, and posses the confidence to keep going.

The road to success has lots of pebbles and potholes and a few unexpected big rocks and scary curves. The ability to bounce back from disappointment or failure requires life skills that can be taught. Having this ability begins with teaching children to assume responsibility for their actions, and not blame others, or themselves, for circumstances beyond their control.  Self-blame can be a spiral toward low esteem and lack of confidence.  Explain that sometimes it’s just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or others may have a hidden agenda.  It isn’t always even about them and they control can’t  how others think or act.

Help Children be Problem Solvers

Wise parents, teachers and caregivers help children problem solve. They help children be prepared with coping skills for the next time a similar situation comes up. Be a good listener. Disappointed children often need to talk; don’t interrupt or put words in their mouth. It is their problem; show confidence in their ability to solve it.

At the appropriate time, tell them, “I have confidence in you. You have a good mind and soul. You will find a solution. If you need assistance, I am here.  Maybe you would like to run some ideas by me.”

Allow them time to reflect and look at a problem realistically. Ask if they need time alone to think about what happened and how to handle a similar situation. Your role is to offer support and guide, not lead them to a solution.

Help Children to be Optimistic About the Future

A resilient child bounces off a strong self-esteem to come up with a plan B. Teaching esteem building skills – having the honesty to apologize when they’re wrong, courtesy in asking for what they want, setting boundaries on how they’re treated – helps a child to cope. Resilient children know disappointments and setbacks are temporary. Adults modeling resilient skills and strategies are a child’s best teacher.

Judy H. Wright is a life educator and family relationship coach who is lucky enough to live in beautiful Montana.  We invite you to download a free eBook on communication for positive results at   You are also invited to attend weekly teleclasses held each Thursday on family relationship topics.  Find out more at   You will be glad you did.

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Raising a Resilient, Bounce Back Kid