05 Jul Knowing God’s Love Can Build Your Child’s Resilience.
The word ‘resilience’ is heard a lot in educational circles these days, more so since the pandemic, when concern about children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health has been put under the spotlight. We all want our children to thrive, both at home and at school, so it’s worth considering how we can help them to become more resilient. Obviously we’re not talking here about serious trauma, when professional help may be needed, but about the everyday ups and downs of life. How do we prepare our children to deal with those smaller challenges – the worries, disappointments, squabbles and jealousies – that they may meet in their first years at school?
Think back to Sports Day. Were you one of those children who enjoyed every moment, however ‘well’ you did? Win or lose, you’d try your best, your parents would be proud of you, and it was FUN! Or was it? Maybe Sports Day was more about worry and anxiety. Did you fret, pray for rain, or fake a tummy ache, because you feared (or knew!) you were going to be last over the line – oh the humiliation!
Of course, this is only a light-hearted example, but everyday life is full of challenges big and small, however old we are. We recall what Jesus said about the sensible man who built his house on rock (Matthew 7:24-27) and it stood firm against rain, floods and gales. As parents, while we hope our children will never have to face real storms, we do want to help them to cope with the dark clouds and puddles! What tools do they need to deal with situations they may find challenging, to help them to grow and thrive in a world that is not always kind?
We know that stability and a secure, loving home provide the best starting point for a child’s growth, development and healthy self-esteem. Sadly, this is not the experience of all children, which is why authentic relationship education, beginning with the child’s relationship with God, is so important. Christian parents, by living and sharing their faith, and teaching their children about God, give them rock-solid grounding. Working in partnership with A Fertile Heart is a powerful way to consolidate at home what they will learn in those first weeks at school about just how special and unique they are. So tell your children often of the amazing, unconditional love that God has for them. Share with them how God created them out of love, and for a purpose. Help them begin to understand that God gives them the very gifts they need to grow into the persons they were created to be. This means that there is no need to compare themselves to others; their gifts and talents are as special as they are! Knowing that everyone else on the planet is also made and loved by God helps children to value the dignity and beauty of every human person. It helps them to be kind and appreciate all that the other has to offer. It helps them to learn to cooperate with God as they grow, making good choices, and allowing him to lead and guide them.
We know that as our children grow and mature, the challenges will be greater. We will, for example, have to help them navigate the confusion of adolescence, peer pressure and the pervasive presence of social media. But it’s the foundations that are laid when they are very young by parents, supported by authentic relationship education, that will help them to develop resilience and true self-esteem; foundations of rock, not sand.
Find out more about A Fertile Heart and even sample some of our resources under the sections “What you need to know” and “Our Curriculum”.