Sheryl Sandberg: How to Build Resilient Kids, Even After a Loss
Posted by Beth Payne in her Fostering Resilience blog
Director, Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR)
Contact FSI for more information at FSIRegistrar@state.gov.
Re-posted in Foggy Bottom Rambles
Here are some of the things she learned. Read her New York Times article or her book Option B if you want to read more.
- Show your children that they matter. Sociologists define “mattering” as the belief that other people notice you, care about you, and rely on you. It’s the answer to a vital question that all children ask about their place in the world starting as toddlers, and continuing into and beyond adolescence: Do I make a difference to others?
- Walk alongside your children and listen. When parents cannot fix a child’s problems, it can be frustrating and parents often feel helpless. In these cases, remember the value of being a trusted companion who will listen, share in your children’s feelings, and remind them they are not alone. Just being there will often do more for a child’s resilience than solving the immediate problem.
- Keep memories alive. Talking openly about memories — not just positive ones, but difficult ones, too — can help kids make sense of their past and rise to future challenges. It’s especially powerful to share stories about how the family sticks together through good times and bad, which allows kids to feel that they are connected to something larger than themselves.
- Practice gratitude. At the end of each day, talk about what happened that day for which each of you is grateful and remind yourselves that even after loss, there is still so much to appreciate in life.