01 Jul 7 Ways To Build Resilience As A Family: Summer Edition
When families participate in activities together it helps children feel supported and confident, allowing them to learn skills to bounce back from life’s challenges and to better handle stress.
Since learning these skills is an ongoing process it’s important to create habits, rituals and traditions that are enjoyed regularly together.
Summer is a perfect time for families to get outside. The days are longer and energy is higher. In this article I’m going to share 7 ways to help your family build resilience this summer.
1. Schedule time for activities as a family
Being intentional about spending time together as a family supports children in feeling secure in their relationships, which is a key factor to building confidence and resilience. Children who feel secure generally have a positive outlook and feel comfortable trying new things.
Create daily rituals such as sit down dinners or stories before bed. Then a few times a week, schedule fun activities to do together. Ideas include:
- Spending time in the backyard or park having fun and developing skills such as coordination, focus and teamwork with games like frisbee, touch football, or even just with a bat and ball playing catch.
- Do some baking for a garden tea party or picnic. Baking teaches skills such as patience and problem solving while helping young people understand what goes into their food.
- Make something together. There are lots of great summer craft projects that create hours of fun. Completing crafts successfully helps develop confidence. Look for fun, age appropriate options. Check out my Summer Activities Pinterest board for lots of great ideas.
- Getting into nature – leaving life’s distractions for the calm of nature, improves children’s ability to relax and focus. Try hiking or walking/bicycling in a park.
- Sharing a family hobby – choose an interest that everyone in the family enjoys.
2. Start a daily gratitude journal.
Get a blank journal and spend time together each night reflecting on one thing each member is grateful for. This helps everyone discover that, even though you may have had a bad day, there is always something to be thankful for.
Focus on gratitude for people and experiences rather than material things.
For more ideas on journaling to create confidence, resilience & gratitude check out the UPower Journal.
3. Volunteer to serve others.
Since school is out, it’s a great time to volunteer in the community. Volunteering has many benefits including:
- Reducing depression by supporting and helping other people.
- Improving confidence, happiness and optimism.
- Boosting the immune system for better health.
- Reducing challenging emotions.
Whether it’s at a soup kitchen, animal shelter or retirement home – choose to go as a family.
4. Give to others.
Summer is a great opportunity to clean out the garage and closets to give to others who are less fortunate. Giving reminds children to be grateful for the good in their own lives and it helps reduce a sense of entitlement.
Some other ways you can give to others include:
- Letting your child buy a gift for another child.
- Buying and donating food to the food bank.
Be sure to reinforce that those less fortunate are equals. They are going through hard times and need support.
5. Celebrate family members by doing something special for each person
Being thoughtfully generous builds relationships and reinforces positive qualities such as kindness and respect. Encourage family members to think about what would be special and meaningful to each person, rather than what they might like themselves.
This could be anything from leaving them a special note to making icy cold lemonade on a hot summer day.
6. Try something new as a family!
Being adventurous isn’t in everyone’s comfort zone but knowing you’re together in a new experience gives support and builds confidence. Pushing comfort zones in a safe way and putting in the effort, helps reduce the fear of the unknown and develops courage and resilience.
Have FUN researching your new activity together as a family. Start with small steps and remember to celebrate your successes.
7. Create a happiness bag.
Whenever someone is experiencing feelings like sadness, anger, loneliness or frustration, have them pick something from their happiness bag to help them change their focus in a positive direction.
Here’s how you make one:
- Gather as many magazines as you can find.
- Sit down as a family.
- Give each family member a box or bag labelled with their name.
- Ask each person to cut out 10 things (quotes, words or pictures) that bring a smile to their face.
- Have them place the chosen items in their bag.
Make meaning together
The habits and rituals you create as a family will have positive rewards for a lifetime. The holidays are the perfect time to get started.