Last Christmas, Sophie requested for inline skating classes after we explained to her that we were doing away with Christmas presents that added clutter to the home. I glad she took the idea well and displayed maturity for her young age at 4-years-old.
Even though Alexis and I can both roller blade, we find it a challenge to teach her because she doesn’t trust us to let go and would cling on to us for dear life. So on the first weekend in 2014, we took her for a trial lesson where she buckled up her wheels and got into some rolling action.
Since she’s has no experience at all, the first lesson was simply to learn how to fall and do the “V” walk on the grass. Once she was more comfortable on her wheels, the instructor held her hands and took her on the concrete pavement and you can start to see a slight look of worry.
And as expected, she inched, she rolled and she fell.
But each time, she was encouraged to put into practice what she’s learnt about getting back on her feet and pushed herself up. Even though she was tired out from the falling, time and time again, I saw determination in her as she bounced back from each fall.
Even champions need a water break
In between breaks, she would take big gulps of water and quickly summarised what she learnt before getting back in her lesson again.
While this might have been just an inline skating lesson to her, it was also developing her resilience to falls in life. Being properly padded up with her safety gear, gave her the confidence that she can fall and not be hurt pretty much like how she can be confidence that we will on the sides cheering and supporting her on even as she faces difficult situations.
Resilience- The ability to quickly bounce back from our trials and tragedies.
I do think that Sophie’s optimistic and positive spirit help to build her self-esteem. But as parents, we’ll also need to equip her to think for herself and bounce back on her feet instead of rushing in to brush the dirt off her hands and knees when she falls.
That’s why, we allow her to do things on her own so that she can learn from mistakes and find ways to solve them independently. And when she fails, like when she can’t write her Chinese character as nicely as her teacher expects, we tell her that what matters most is that she tried her best.
We can’t shelter her from disappointment, setbacks and failures in life. But we can certainly teach her that being number one is not everything and what matters most is that we give it our best so that she can face future challenges with confidence that she’ll be better than she was yesterday.
Here are 3 simple ways to help your child develop a resilient spirit
- Assure your child that you are close by for them but avoid stepping in to rescue them out of difficult situations without first allowing them to try
- Give your child opportunities to problem solve. They may be more creative with their solutions when they know they are empowered.
- Help them see mistakes as learning opportunities and don’t overreact if they make mistakes.
What are some other ways that you can help to develop your child’s resilience? I’ll love to hear from you too.
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