Teaching Resilience

What can mothers do to increase resilience in their children?  A child's resilience can be increased and negative consequences of sexual abuse can be reduced by:
  • Focusing on the child's assets and strengths
  • Helping the child use available supportive resources  

Things that a mother can do to help her child become more resilient:

  • Love your child unconditionally and show your love through physical affection and verbal telling - "I love you." "I believe you." "I believe in you." "I will always love you." "Nothing you could do would make me not love you."
  • Provide structure, rules, and positive discipline so that your child feels safe.
  • Be a role model to your child - displaying attributes of resilience (see Resilience section under Mothers).
  • Praise your child frequently to increase self-esteem and sense of worth in child.
  • Encourage independence and autonomy in your child.
  • Help your child learn about emotions, what they are, how to recognize them, how to manage them.
  • Provide explanations for decisions and involve your child in decision making.
  • Encourage compassion and reaching out to others with care and concern.
  • Assist your child in developing communication skills and conflict resolution skills. Model these skills to your child.
  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Talk to your child about daily events as well as feelings, opinions, school, work, news. Keep the doors open in communication so that your child feels safe in discussing with you any concerns and areas of safety.
  • Teach responsibility and assist your child in understanding about self-responsibility for behaviors. Point out the connections between behavior and consequences.
  • Accept your child no matter what. Speak the language of acceptance so that your child will able to accept both himself and others.



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