“When my teenage daughter said she was trying out for the school play, I immediately started to worry about what would happen if she didn’t get the part. Anytime she is faced with disappointment, she becomes incredibly anxious and upset. She isn’t just bummed, like some other kids. She can’t get over it. She obsesses about how unfair it is and says she will never try out for anything again. There is nothing I can say or do to help her when she gets like that. Sometimes it makes me wish she wouldn’t even try out, but I know that isn’t a solution.”
As caring parents, concerned about our children’s development into healthy adults, we often ask “What can I do to help my child through a tough time?” or “What influence do I really have?” Research on resiliency offers us good news in response to these questions. Resiliency, the ability to handle what life throws at us in healthy, constructive ways, is a combination of our innate, internal characteristics, and more importantly for parents, external, environmental protective factors.