Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Resilience is not something children have or don’t have, but rather something that they can learn. Children face varying degrees of difficulties on a regular basis, like learning to tie their shoes, ride a bike and read a book. Do your children say “I am not good at this” and give up when faced with challenges, or do they get back up and keep trying?
As parents we can help our children develop a mindset that encourages them to keep going even when times get tough. We can help them embrace failure as part of the learning process and encourage them to have a growth mindset. Children who believe that their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) will be better equipped to bounce back from adversity.
Books are one of the most powerful parenting tools we have for starting conversations and teaching important skills. These books will help your kids see resilience in a relatable way, and will help them find ways to build resilience in their own lives.
- The Hugging Tree by Jill Neimark – A little tree ends up on a cliff and must grow there. He finds comfort in the sea and the moon, support from the crow, and connection and warmth from the people sitting in his shade. The Hugging Tree is a poetic and peaceful story that aims to teach children about hope and resilience and even has a section for parents about building resilience.
- After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat – Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) is a masterful picture book that will remind readers of all ages that life begins when you get back up.
- Bounce Back: A Book About Resilience by Cheri Meiners – A great book to introduce young kids to resilience with a section in the back for parents. Our children especially loved the vivid illustrations.
- Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty – When her great-great-aunt Rose comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal–to fly–Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success. You can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit.
- What Do You Do With a Problem? By Kobi Yamada – This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.
Looking for more activities to teach resilience to your child? Sign up for our newsletter and receive a FREE 30 day resilience calendar. And check out our April box, “I Can Thrive: A Resilience Box”, full of fun and empowering activities for building resilience and includes The Hugging Tree by Jill Neimark.