halie ellis [ Coast Mountain Mama ]

Raise a Socially Resilient Child

I had the pleasure of attending yet another workshop with Kim John Payne this past weekend. Kim spoke at length about how parents can raise a socially resilient child and break the cycle of reactivity, exclusion and escalation. A key note that lasted with me from this workshop, was how to help a child strengthen the art of perspective taking. According to Kim, studies have shown that children with low resiliency frequently score low on perspective taking and can often become subject to bullying. This is not to say that all children who have low resiliency will get bullied. However, I believe anything affecting a child’s emotional endurance is a shortcoming nonetheless.

Below are a few simple perspective taking strategies to help strengthen resiliency.

-Don’t correct a child giving their perspective, even if you know what they are saying is not true. Truth is a journey and all children will see it their way. You can simply agree that they see things their way and others may see things differently. Don’t forget to share your own perspective on the matter!

-Kim is a big fan of “Thorns and Roses,” in which each person discusses one “thorn” for the day — what didn’t go well, what they would have changed if they could — and one “rose” — what went well that day.

-Ask questions while reading. “Why do you think he is doing that?”, “Why do you think he is feeling that way?” or, “How would you feel if that happened?”. Allow the child to see things from their perspective and share your perspective. Remember, there are no wrong answers.

-Be inquisitive rather than accusative. An example, “How do you think you spilled your milk?”, “What do you think you can do next time?” Instead of telling the child how they spilled their milk.

-Here is a link to a website that provides a printable list of “dinner talk” questions in a jar. A fun way to encourage perspective taking by asking unlikely questions.

Usually, children who are having difficulty with perspective taking simply need a little more practice. The workshop led me to believe that these type of practices are monumental for children developing resiliency. Parenting aside, some children have a high emotional endurance and some children need a little extra help. With that in mind, perspective taking seems to be a winning strategy in raising a socially resilient child. The Wolfgang looks forward to practicing a little more each day.

If you are keen to learn more about the importance of resiliency, here is a link to a really great article in Time Magazine.

November 12, 2012 | Filed under Behavior, Blog, Inspirational Talks, Wolfgang.

2 Responses to Raise a Socially Resilient Child

  1. Pingback: halie ellis » Archive » Subtle Non Inclusion

  2. Pingback: halie ellis » Archive » Daily Rhythm

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I am an incredibly fortunate stay-at-home mommy, who has decided to share her passion for children’s learning online. (read more)
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