So how do we raise resilient kids so that they can become resilient adults?
Build strong relationships with a child. Be open and present when they come to you with their stories, worries and complaints. Relationships are built over the long term and it is often those small little gestures of closing a computer or a book, stopping to look at a child’s eyes that make a big difference in self -esteem. Sometimes just knowing that someone in our life “gets us” is enough to comfort us through the challenging times. Genuine human connection can get us through the darkest times. Individuals with autism may be bothered by events and experiences that we think are silly or unreasonable. Maybe we think our child is being overly dramatic. By taking the time to put yourself in the child’s mind (or body) and really listen (not just hear) what is being said, we are building trust. How can we expect others to come to us in the “big stuff” when we mock, belittle or fail to pay attention to the “little stuff?”
While you are working hard to build a solid and trusting relationship with your child… don’t forget to practice what you preach! Let your kids see you reach out to others when you are struggling.
Stay tuned for more ways to raise resilient kids with autism…