What are the characteristics of an unbreakable kid? These are the children who can withstand peer pressure, more readily recover from difficult trials, and adapt to change with greater ease.
Unbreakable children are not just kids who have consistent inner strength; unbreakable children are kids who are aware of their own inner strength resources and know how to replenish them when they become depleted.
Do you want your kids to become self-aware with the ability thrive no matter what challenges they face? Then read on!
Unbreakable kids balance growth in 5 key areas
According to Dina Alexander, founder and president of Educate Empower Kids, these strength resources can be categorized into 5 key areas: social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical. Children become “stronger” as they practice skills that bring about balanced growth.
Dina explains that we can think of these key areas like accounts we make deposits in. When we work to develop social skills and use them to make friends, we add to our social account. We add to our intellectual account as we learn critical thinking skills that we can use to solve problems.
What happens when a key area is ignored?
When any account gets too low, sometimes we try to borrow from other accounts. For example, instead of feeding our body to meet our physical need for food (a deposit to our physical account) we might begin overeating in an attempt to fill both our physical and emotional needs.
This type of borrowing, Dina says, is like “playing one key on the piano.” It may be easy, but it’s not fulfilling.
Ultimately, when we fail to nurture each area of our lives with what we really need, we become weaker and less resilient. When we allow several key accounts to become depleted, we are in a state that can easily lead to anxiety, depression, and even addiction. When we keep our accounts full, we have a greater ability to withstand any trial that may come.
3 crucial steps in raising an unbreakable kid
So what can parents do to raise kids that can bounce back? Dina insists there are three important steps parents must take:
1. Explain things to your child. Don’t rely on the popular parenting retort, “Because I said so!” Help your child understand why you make the choices you make and get your child to start thinking about why they make the choices they make. Every time you have a discussion with your kid, you are connecting to them, adding a deposit to their emotional and social accounts. You are also helping them exercise their critical thinking muscle, creating deposits for their intellectual account.
2. Allow your kids to make mistakes. If parents won’t let kids fail, kids are not able to succeed and own that success. Kids need to know when they are succeeding based on their own effort and they need the opportunity to learn from their blunders.
3. Simplify. One of the biggest mistakes many parents make is over scheduling. Kids need time at home to learn from you and your experiences. Be picky about how you use your time and prioritize family togetherness. We no longer have the luxury to do anything that does not strengthen our family. Before committing to an outside activity, ask yourself, “Will this activity bring us closer? Is it re-enforcing our family values? Is it worth our time?”
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Raising unbreakable kids means letting kids practice using healthy coping skills. To practice effectively, kids need time and mentoring from their parents.
This 3 step plan is not a one time checklist; ideally, it is an everyday lifestyle. Parents can help kids and kids can help parents build resilience. Perhaps the the most important ingredient in an unbreakable kid is an unbreakable bond between parent and child
Free parent/child bonding activity
Do you want to enhance your time around the dinner table or make travel time with children more meaningful? We have created 23 FUN (and thought-provoking) questions you and your kids can ask each other. You can even use these questions as conversation starters at parties! Click on the image below to get your free pdf of 23 fabulous questions: