Raising a Resilient Gymnast

Let's talk about resilience, and how we can help our kids grow this vital life skill. Sometimes in our stressful adult lives we forget that kids face a lot of challenges too.

School, navigating friendships, sickness, and injury can all be stressful experiences for kids. Working through challenging situations like these requires resilience.  Thankfully resilience is a skill you and your child can work on and grow.

Sport is a great way to help kids learn resilience. Our gymnastics classes are one way to provide your child with some opportunities to grow through success and setbacks. Gymnastics skills can take months of work to achieve, so gymnasts have to keep problem solving and learning from failures until they finally crack the skill.

But resilience isn’t something that kids learn overnight. Just like a cartwheel, resilience is a skill that needs practice to learn and maintain. This month’s article from Psych Central is 10 Tips For Raising Resilient Kids. With these 10 tips you can help your kids work on their resilience outside of their gymnastics class.

We’ve summarised our favourite 5 below.

Avoid eliminating all risks

Keeping kids safe is every parent’s priority. But removing all risks from your child’s life also removes opportunities for them to navigate challenges. By allowing appropriate risks, you teach your kids essential life skills.

For example, not allowing your kids to climb trees removes an opportunity to practice what they’ve learnt in gymnastics and improve their balance, spatial awareness and strength.

Giving kids the chance to navigate age-appropriate risk helps them learn their limits.

Teach them to problem-solve

Rather than taking over the situation and giving your child all the answers, encourage them to figure out their own solutions.

Say your child wants to learn a backflip, but they feel nervous about asking their gymnastics coach for help. Instead of approaching the coach for them, brainstorm ways that your child can be brave and start the conversation themselves.

Avoid “why” questions

When we’re trying to teach problem solve, “why” questions aren’t the best choice. Imagine that your child has forgotten to bring their drink bottle to gymnastics. If you ask them why, what will they say? “I was careless, I’m a 7-year old…”

Using how questions instead can help them learn from their mistakes. “You forgot to bring your drink bottle, and now you’re thirsty. How will you fix that?”

Let your kids make mistakes

Learning how to fail is an important lesson that will help your child navigate through life. Failing doesn’t mean it’s all over, failing is an opportunity to learn from your experience and grow. Letting your kids mess up can be tough; but without making mistakes, how will they learn from them?

Model resilience

The best way to teach resilience is to show your kids what resilience looks like and lead by example. When you approach life’s challenges head-on and problem solve without fear of failure, your kids get a real-life example of how they should deal with the world around them.

For more ways to help your kids build resilience, head to the original article at Psych Central.

If your child needs a little extra help with their resilience in gymnastics – contact us or chat to their coach after class. We're always happy to help 🙂

Written by

Jasmin Meaker

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