It’s no longer enough to impart financial literacy and values in your kids. To succeed and thrive in today’s uncertain world, you must also help them develop resiliency skills.
Think of resilience as the “Flubber Factor.” You know, the green gooey stuff that bounces back in the Disney movie with the same name. Bouncing back is just what you want your kids to be able to do if and when they are beset with tough times.
Prof. Sharon Danes, of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Family Social Science, wrote booklet called Change: Loss, Opportunity and Resilience.
In it, she describes five elements of resilience to help deal with change or a solve problem:
• Be positive
• Be focused
• Be flexible
• Be organized
• Be proactive
In Prof. Danes’ booklet, she points out, “How much control one has had over change can affect how one responds to it. Whether a person has had involvement in making the change also contributes to how the change is experienced.”
The basic idea is that if any of the techniques or solutions your kids come up with don’t work out at first, encourage them to keep thinking of alternative ideas. Resist the temptation to rescue them. Even if you suspect or know a suggestion may not work, let them make the mistake (as long as it won’t put anyone in danger), tell them it was a good try, and ask them, “what else do you think might work?”
I developed a series of “resilience tip” boxes throughout each of my Kids and Money Guide Books. Each resilience tip consists of a discussion starter, an activity or project you can initiate with your children to teach them not only the main lessons from the section in which each resilience tip appears, but also to take advantage of opportunities to make your children develop more resilience along the way.