How to Beat Depression by Raising a Resilient Child?  

My wife and I joined the accompaniment program of our parish. It is been a year since we have known the program but we were just ignoring it. Why? Because we taught that after several years of being parents, we have already known the maze of parenthood. We were not entirely correct.  

Yes, parenthood comes naturally but parenting is developed.  There are no perfect parents and there is no single pattern to adapt to ensure good parenting. People usually equates good parenting to the success that the children attained in their lives. Having a whole family, comfortable life and successful careers are usually being tagged as end-results of goof parenting.  Do you agree? Probably true but then again probably not.  

As for me and my wife, we have long agreed that our children’s successes and failures in the future are theirs and not ours. We made this as our mantra to stop ourselves from pressuring them to do things just for our happiness. We agreed that as parents we are just here to lead them to doing right and good and develop their resilience in facing adversity. With that in mind, we joined our parish’s accompaniment program when we saw in the church’s advertisement that the next topic to be discussed was about raising resilient children.

What is Resilience?   

As per dictionary.com resilience is the ability of a person to adjust to or recover readily from illness, adversity and major life changes.  

In the past years, especially within the pandemic period, we have heard news of youth suffering from depression and anxiety, some worsening into severe mental illness and worst was that there were some who took their own life. As parents, we are disturbed by this horrible news. We are worried that the same may happen to our children and we suddenly realize that we need to help develop resilience in them. But how? 

In this article we shared what we learned from our Parish Pastoral Accompaniment Program (PPAP)’s talk about raising resilient children. We listed here key points and suggestions on how parents can develop resilience in their children. Also, we attached here the YouTube link for the talk so that readers can also watch and learn on their own. We hope you continue reading.

Here are the highlights of what we took with us from attending the accompaniment program for the very first time.

  1. Generally, parents want their children to succeed in life when they grow up. They want their children to be competent, self-reliant, responsible and have good virtues such as understanding, generosity and religiosity. 
  1. Parents have to accept that their children are inconsiderate, incompetent irresponsible, dependent and self-centered when they are young. 
  1. There is a big gap between the current traits of the children and the traits parents want them to have. Parents will face many challenges to minimize or totally remove the gap.  
  1. Our children may be currently influenced by YOLO and FOMO mind set. YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once which entails carefree and easy-going lifestyle. Hardships and difficulties are as much as possible avoided and finding an easy way out is the direction to take reasoning out that we all die anyway so why should we care. This principle provokes youth not to give their best in what they do and be complacent. More seriously, YOLO tempts them to commit sins because it belies the belief in heaven and the life after death.
  1. Fear Of Missing Out on something is the meaning of FOMO. It is the fear of not being included and left out. It is the belief that happiness of someone depends on somebody else.  This expression influences the youth to be dependent on other people and feel unworthy when alone.
  1. FOMO and YOLO are just two of the lifestyles or behaviors that pose great challenges to parents as they raise their children. 
  1. Resilience is the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Removing the word ‘quickly’ from its definition will change the meaning of the word.
  1. Parents must teach their children that success requires hard-work. That failures are necessary to be successful. Take a look at the lives of Michael Jordan and Thomas Edison.  
  1. Parents must conduct a regular one-on-one talk with their children. This is to let the children feel that one-on-one talk is for sharing experiences and not just for disciplining and admonishing. Parents must see this an as an opportunity to know what their children is going through and lift them up if necessary. 
  1. Never scold your children in front of other people.  This act discourages them severely. Correcting must be done privately just between the two of you. Ensure that your child feel your love and not your disappointment.. 
  1. Let your children undergo hardships. Do not always rush to help them. Let them study in their own. Let them do their school project on their own. Delay assistance when possible. This will develop confidence in them.
  1. Allow your children to make little decisions for their selves. Let them decide on what clothes to wear or what film they want to watch. Interfere only when the decision is not appropriate for their age like wearing shorts on a Sunday mass or watching film that has too much violence and explicit contents. They have to start deciding responsibly at a young age. 
  1. Encourage optimism by being optimistic yourself. Choose to look on positive things in every situation. Let me give you one article in our blog where we exhibited optimism. Please click the link below. 

https://truehomejoy.com/ukraine-and-russian-war-how-do-you-explain-that-to-your-child/

  1.    Be resilient yourself and be a model to your children. Let your children see your resilience in dealing with problems and difficult situations. Show them that you can handle disappointments such as missing a flight or failing a job interview pretty well.
  1. Lastly, believe in God and believe in His providence.  Teach your children to trust God and trust that ‘To them that love God, all things work together unto good’ (Romans 8:28). 

 I attached here the link to the full video of the talk that we attended entitled Raising Resilient Children.

DM Marasigan conducting the talk on Raising Resilient Children.

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Thank you for reading!   

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