How to Raise Resilient Children

How to Raise Resilient Children
by Michael Hart, MA,CCCfamily_talking
Those of us over the age of 40 years old are probably familiar with the old saying, “children should be seen and not heard.” This philosophy of raising children has no doubt left emotional scars on many who grew up in households that put it into practice. New research conducted by the Emory University in the United States found that resilient children tended to come from homes in which parents encouraged discussions with children about their emotions.The research conducted by psychology professors Robyn Fivush and Marshall Duke focused on how families talked about negative events that impact the family. When children were allowed to share their feelings in ways that made them feel validated and acknowledged, children were more likely to have better self-esteem and displayed better social skills.The researchers emphasized that it was not just the conversations that mattered , but how families talked about events and the quality time family spent together. According to Professor Duke, one key opportunity for meaningful discussion that has been largely abandoned by families is dinner- time. Even so, having dinner together is not a guarantee that discussion that can be helpful to children will take place; the tendency at many dinner tables is to talk about surface issues and not to talk about issues in a way that uncover emotions.

The research also highlighted the importance of letting children know about their family’s history. Professor Fivush stated, “The power of the family stories and the family history is really remarkable.” He went on to say that, “There seems to be something that’s particularly important about children knowing where they came from in a larger sense and having a sense of family history and a family place.”

What this new research has uncovered has long been held to be essential foundations for raising emotionally healthy children by Christian Counselling therapists.There are strong biblical grounds for embracing the findings of this research. In the New Testament Jesus welcomed interaction with children when the disciples presumed that he was too busy and had more important things to do (Mathew 19:14). Also, the Israelites were instructed that the religious ceremonies would become a means of initiating conversations with children about their family history.

Copyright ©2o13, Elim Counselling Service


About Michael Hart

Michael Hart is a highly qualified psychotherapist whose training and experience allow him to use the respected Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) designation of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. As Director of Elim Counselling Services, Michael not only offers counselling to clients, but leads Kingdom Life Workshops and hosts a counselling radio show, Life Transformations. Michael is a dynamic presenter and a gifted communicator who presents serious topics in a way that is easily understood and very entertaining. His academic writings and research have earned him two St. Peter's Awards from St. Paul University in Ottawa for excellence in the area of Christian Spirituality. Michael is mentioned on the Christian Counselling Network as a Christian Counsellor having the qualifications and training in both theology and counselling and as such is recognized as being a Christian Counsellor who not only goes by the name but is truly qualified to offer professional Christian Counselling.


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