How do you help boys become resilient?
It’s easy enough to say that resiliency is important, and we know that the ability to bounce back in spite of obstacles is essential for success and happiness in life. But how exactly does one build resilience?
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t teach a child resilience, says Dr. Sandy Gluckman, a psychologist. Rather, you create a climate that allows a child to develop self-knowledge and self-confidence.
Most of our boys spend a lot of times in environments that don’t help them feel good. School, for instance, is not a good fit, developmentally speaking, for most boys, and it’s easy for boys to assume that something is wrong with them when they can’t read or write as well as their female classmates.
Pushing your child to do things that he’s not ready or willing to do is NOT the answer. Your intentions may be good, but you’ll actually increase the levels of stress hormones coursing through your son’s body, and a stressed brain and body is not ready or able to learn.
One of the quickest, most effective ways to ease your son’s stress is to take care of yourself. You cannot effectively parent your son while you’re in a state of stress because your son will sense the anger, fear, and concern behind your carefully chosen words. Taking time for yourself — both in moments of high stress and on a regular basis — allows you to parent from a place of peace, which, in turn, allows your son’s nervous system to relax.
Then, you can turn your attention toward helping your son recognize his inherent worth.
In this episode, Jen, Janet & Dr. Sandy discuss:
- The link between resilience and brain chemistry
- Interpersonal neurobiology — or, how parents’ emotional state affects their children
- How feeling “not good enough” affects our brains and bodies
- The fight, flight or freeze stress response
- Inflammatory vs. non-inflammatory parenting
- How deep breathing can help you be a better parent
- How to build your son’s self-esteem
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:
drsandygluckman.com — Dr. Sandy’s website
www.youtube.com/user/sandygluckman — Dr. Sandy’s YouTube channel
Parents, Take Charge! Healing Learning, Behavior and Mood Challenges Without Medication, by Dr. Sandy Gluckman
Why You Need to Stop Focusing on Your Boys’ Bickering — Building Boys blog post
How Confidence and Joy Spark Success — ON BOYS episode
Self-Esteem and Boys –– ON BOYS episode
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