Resiliency? Isn’t that some abstract, hippy word that therapists use?
No! Resiliency is a characteristic that is built within families to support them during painful times we all face.
How does MY family become resilient?
- You practice now.
- You build resources and supports now.
- You spend time with your family now.
- You spend time with each of your children individually now.
- You do what you say you’re going to do – every time.
- You practice your spiritual beliefs and develop friendships of those who share the same beliefs who you can call on during a difficult time.
These steps will not only create resiliency within you, but will also create resiliency within the family.
Building Family Resiliency
How does spending time with my family build resiliency?
When you tell your son or your daughter you’re going to do A, B, or C with them at a specified time, and then you follow through, you’ve shown them they can count on you.
When difficult times hit your family, your kids know they can count on mom and dad because you have already demonstrated you are dependable.
When kids and teens know they can count on mom or dad to handle difficult situations, you lessen their anxiety and they can focus on being a kid.
Build A Support System
So what do you mean when you say build supports?
Do you belong to…
- A church group?
- A softball team?
- A group of dance moms?
- A group of guys you hunt or play golf with?
These are your supports.
These are the people who you can reach out to when you’re struggling with life.
Now some might say they wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to their golfing buddy about a family problem, to which I reply, people will surprise you.
You will discover that others are struggling too or have been through the same struggle you’re going through now.
Lean on each other, take advice, and talk it out.
Shared Spiritual Belief & Resiliency
How does a shared spiritual belief create resiliency?
People with shared spiritual beliefs can provide a powerful support system. If you have prayer partners to call on when you are struggling, this can help during difficult times. Friends who can reach out to you when you’ve been alone too long also strengthen resiliency.
These supports have a ripple effect that creates resiliency within families, helping them endure and bounce back from hard times.
Educate yourself about community resources. Charitable people and organizations want to help. Give them the opportunity.
- Do you have the phone number for your local food bank?
- Do you know any counseling services you can call if your teenager becomes out of control?
- Are you aware that there are community resources for food, clothes and help with utility expenses?
- Do you know there are free counseling services available to service members and their families?
- Do you have these contacts readily available?
Fostering Resilient Children
When you build your support network, make use of community resources and follow through with your family, you are building resiliency characteristics.
These practices also keep your children from worrying.
And believe me, as someone who has been in private counseling practice for years, your children do worry. They worry about you, they worry about the bills being paid, and they worry about mommy and daddy fighting.
When you reach out to others for help, you’re showing your children that it is okay to ask for help.
I would hate for them to be faced with a life stressor one day and not know that it is okay to reach out to a friend, a pastor, a counselor or a food bank for help.
Resiliency Enables Families to Cope
We will all face difficult times in our lives.
Families who bounce back easier and faster have resiliency skills already built in to the core of their family identity.
Implement these practices in your life, so that when those difficult days begin, you will have the skills needed to help your family through them.
Learn more about Family Resilience.