Resiliency Traits & Skills Teenagers Need To Cope With Adversity
What we know is that resilient people are able to cope with challenges, weather the storms in life, and work successfully through setbacks to reach their goals and make their dreams come true. In other words, resilient individuals are much more likely to live productive, meaningful, joyful lives. As mentioned previously, kids are not necessarily resilient.
Traits Resilient People Have
Resilient individuals live the lives they choose to live. They do not wait for others to fix things for them. Resilient individuals do not see themselves as victims, even though sometimes they are. Resilient people refuse to play the blame game. Resilient individuals know how to intercede on their own best behalf. Resilient individuals view setbacks as challenges that they are capable of addressing successfully. Resilient individuals feel hopeful rather than helpless.
Yes resilient individuals have bad days. They can get depressed. But they bounce back because they live in that magical place of hope—“Tomorrow will be a better day” and “the glass is half full.” But resilient individuals have developed the thinking habits and skills to live through adversity and recover in ways that allow them to live the lives they were born to live and do in life what they were born to do.
How To Learn Resiliency
The great news is that anyone capable of learning, can learn the thinking habits and skills of resilient people. And the really, really great news, is the process individuals go through to learn resilient thinking habits and skills requires effort and practice. Here’s why… When we use effort and practice to get something we want or something that is making our everyday lives better, we become proud of ourselves. We start to feel worthy when good things happen to us so we no longer self-sabotage. We begin to live in that magical place of hope as we shed helplessness. This is a powerful change within us, we feel it, we like it, and we get better and better at it.
How To Teach Resiliency To Teens
The question I get from parents, when I speak about resilience is, “How do I build more resilience in my teenager?” The answer I give is, first make certain you are modeling resiliency to all youth you care for. If you are having a difficult time with resiliency it makes sense that your teens will have difficulty too. Modeling for our youth what we want to develop in them is very powerful. For example, parents’ who want their children to stop, listen, and pay attention when being spoken to will stop, listen, and pay attention to young people when they are speaking. If you do not like kids texting while you speak with them be sure not to text when they or others are speaking to you.
In addition, to learn anything humans must be given opportunities to learn. Give your youth intentional opportunities to build the skills, and self-perceptions that direct their thinking. For example, if you want your child to develop the skill of self-regulation (the act of thinking about your own thoughts to control your thinking, decisions, and behaviors) you must give them opportunities to self-regulate. Because self-regulation requires individuals to stop and think about consequences of decisions and behaviors, you would want to give them opportunities that require them to achieve this goal.
The next time your adolescent does something you aren’t thrilled about, try asking them questions such as, “What other choice could you have made?” Use follow-up questions, “If you made that choice what do you think might have happened?” “Is there another choice or option you could have considered?” Use missteps, mistakes, and disappointments as learning opportunities. It’s a better way to use your energy and support youth.
Remember thinking directs decisions, and decisions drive behaviors. Behaviors lead to outcomes.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you’re right.”
Steps To Building Resiliency With Dr. Kim
I am committed to getting youth the support they need to build their resilience and live productive, meaningful, and joyful lives. Here’s how you can give your youth the life they deserve:
- Check out complimentary videos on this website, Resiliency Building for adults and youth.
- Read Let’s Build Extraordinary Youth Together
- If you want to take a deeper dive, check out our workshops.