Resilience is the capacity to
rise above difficult circumstances, allowing our children to exist in this less-than-perfect world, while moving forward with optimism and confidence.

Communities That Wish to Focus on Resilience & Strength Building

It is unlikely that your parents will have the time to invest in 7 sessions, one for each of the C's. A more realistic series has 4 sessions. Consider the following groupings:

Session 1: Connection and Control

So much parental anxiety focuses on maintaining a strong connection with their child and losing that connection during adolescence. Much of the news here is reassuring and relieves them of pressure. For example, parents who are able to listen well are relieved of the need to find the perfect words and maintain a stronger connection with their child.

Parents care deeply about discipline because it creates so much tension in households. Parents who use discipline as punishment will likely drive their children away, whereas those who use it as guidance are more likely to maintain effective, loving connections.

Session 2:  Confidence and Competence

Confidence and competence are fully intertwined. Children build confidence when adults continue to notice their competencies. This is the session where parents can discuss the importance of letting kids make some of their own mistakes and talking to them in ways that encourage them to arrive at their own wise decisions. It is also a session where you can discuss how to praise and criticize children in ways that help them become authentically successful.

Session 3:  Character and Contribution

Parents need to determine for themselves the character traits they wish to build in their children, but a parenting seminar can be a great place to promote discussion. A wonderful way for a young person to build character is to contribute to their families and community. The praise they will receive for their contributions will reinforce ongoing positive behaviors and protect children from negative undermining messages that may interfere with their positive development.

Session 4: Coping

This session offers an effective way to tee off successive sessions that focus on topical areas of risk. Once parents understand that risk-taking behavior is often a child’s attempt to put away the uncomfortable feelings associated with stress, they will feel better prepared to take on the risk behaviors. This session is also a good opportunity to help parents understand their vital role as models of appropriate behaviors. Perhaps most importantly, this is the session where you can focus on the importance of taking care of themselves as one of the greatest gifts they can give their children. Parents need to hear this message; they don’t always believe it, but it is critical that parents remain strong and whole to take care of their children. The coping strategies offer healthful alternatives to manage stress and can be used by adults as well.

Ongoing Sessions

Further sessions can focus on risk topic areas. At this point, parents will be well prepared to think about averting risk behaviors by parenting with an eye toward recognizing and reinforcing strengths and building resilience.