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How can you raise mentally strong and resilient kids?

by Ines Wurbs

Provide your children with the conditions to develop a good level of self-confidence. You can do this, among other things, by being a role model and by encouraging and supporting your children. 

In this article, you will find 10 tips on what you need to keep in mind to raise a strong child.

What makes children strong, or: What is resilience?

The keyword here is resilience. Resilience is the ability to manage one’s own development despite unfavorable circumstances. 

If your children have a high level of resilience, it will be easier for them to cope well with difficult situations. It is the immune system of our psyche.

A high level of resilience in children can be seen, for example, when children can assert themselves despite adverse circumstances. Suppose a child grows up in an environment marked by poverty, violence, addiction problems, and other adversities. If these formative circumstances are despite, it can lead a self-determined life in adulthood, it was highly resilient.

Of course, resilience can also be found in adults. This is when someone comes back to normal life after a trauma of any kind. In contrast to adults, children need more support from their parents to emerge stronger from these crises.

You can find out how to do this in the following tips.

10 tips to help you become a parent of mental strong children

1. Be a role model for your child

Children learn best through imitation. They observe us very closely and learn from us how to deal with stress and frustration. If this is your sore point too, then the right time to tackle the issue is now.

2. Be authentic and teach your children to do the same

Feelings can be shown. Pretending everything is okay can be harmful to your children. As mentioned, children observe us in almost all situations. If you get angry and tell your child that, but try to look very friendly and smile, your child will store that facial expression as the emotion of anger. We are allowed to show our feelings, and so are our children.

3. Teach your children to direct and control their emotions

Our children should not suppress their feelings. Name the feelings you see in your child. Also, discuss these with them instantly, when they are receptive. Explain to your child what is okay, but also when they are crossing boundaries.

4. Take your child seriously and respect them

That may sound easy and logical. But how often have you said: “You don’t need to be afraid.” “That can’t have hurt that much.” Well, these sentences slip out of me, even though I’m trying to improve.

The problem is that we downgrade our children’s feelings with such phrases. They learn that it’s wrong,  what they feel. So, they can’t trust their own feelings. Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately and not with occasional sets. But studies have shown that over time this manifests itself in our children’s subconscious. 
Of course, children can also try it out. However, there is always a need that needs to be satisfied.

5. Recognition and praise build your child’s self-esteem

Our children are mainly motivated by the achievement of a goal. We adults are motivated by the way to these goals. But that is precisely why it is particularly important for children to receive praise and recognition for the effort they have actually made. The actual result is not that important. When doing this, please make sure to praise your child depending on their effort.

6. Have confidence in your child

Pay attention to age-appropriate standards. Have faith in your child. No, it will not master everything and not everything will succeed. But trust in your child that it will cope well with this failure, and support it.

7. Make your child feel safe

We parents are the closest confidants to our children. Here they should/ must/ be allowed to feel safe and try things out. I know it’s not always pleasant, and you don’t have to push yourself beyond your limits. Create a safe environment in which your children can try things out and gain experience. That means being there when they need you. SHOW and TELL your child that, too, and make it clear that it will always be like this.

8. Criticism yes, but please only constructively

It is also important to tell your child when something has gone ‘wrong’. However, you should make sure that you tell your criticism in a way that doesn’t offend or embarrass your child. It is best to be clear, factual, and without attacks.

9. Emphasize positive traits

Emphasize positive traits in your child several times a day. Also, avoid comparisons with other children. This will strengthen your child’s self-confidence and self-respect. Like many of these points, it strengthens the bond with your child. This is important to be able to deal better with external hostilities.

10. It is advisable for teenagers to pursue hobbies

Hobbies that are popular among peers are particularly interesting here. This promotes group support (and friends are essential for teens) and balances out potentially tense situations at home.

These are simple points that are often overlooked and neglected in our stressful adult life. That’s how it is for most of us. Be patient with your child, but above all with yourself. No master fell from heaven. Don’t ask that of yourself, either. 

How can I implement resilience training in everyday life?

I am certain that you have already mastered some of these points excellently. Write down the points you want to improve in an instruction set. For example 1. “Don’t say: You don’t need to be afraid” or 2. “Tell Justin how good he is at drawing”. These can be very specific sentences or general ones. Pin these sentences somewhere you can see them, for example on the fridge. That way they won’t be forgotten so easily. Also, change the place of the note from time to time.

As you can see, many issues concern us as parents ourselves. How we treat our children, what we show them and which examples we set for them, and how we talk to them are crucial. Even if they will always remain our little darlings for us. We would love to wrap them in cotton and prepare everything bite-sized for them. But that’s just not the best for them.


Trust, respect, security (in relation to love), and (age-appropriate!) freedom creates self-confident, strong people.

As parents, we worry a lot. How much TV is good? Which toy is the best? Why is my child not doing this or that yet? In my opinion and proven by many studies, trust, respect, security, and freedom are the cornerstones of a strong person. We parents must uphold these for our children. 

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