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7 ways to raise resilient kids - without the "when I was your age" talk.

Teaching our children how to be resilient is just as important as anything else we teach them, if not more.

It makes sense when you think about it. Resilience is what helps kids grow up to become confident and capable adults.

It’s resilience that means kids can handle challenges when they arise without having to turn to anyone else for hand-holding or advice.

Here are seven ideas for raising resilient kids that have worked well in my family.

1. Take on physical challenges.

When we were younger, life was so different. I can’t remember a day when I wasn’t outside running, jumping, playing and enjoying myself. My mum didn’t hover. None of the mums really hovered. Now we don’t just hover but we are tempted to keep our kids indoors where they are safe instead of really giving them the freedom to explore. But we really shouldn’t.

According to Psychology Today encouraging kids to (safely) play outdoors and do activities like building a fort or jumping on a trampoline is important.

"According to Psychology Today encouraging them to (safely) play outdoors and do activities like building a fort or jumping on a trampoline is important." Image via iStock.

2. Organise regular playdates.

My son loves playdates. He calls them, ‘hanging out’ now that he’s 11. He learns from other families. He observes how they live; he tells me how he feels about things that happened and how he chose to handle it. He has food allergies and has learned to communicate his needs really well to those who are caring for him.

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In short, being with other families is a great opportunity for your children to put into practice all the great things you have taught them while they're in an unfamiliar environment.

3. Encourage them to speak for themselves in public.

The school canteen was a big shock for my oldest kids because they’d never made a food or drink purchase on their own. Why would they when they had me to speak for them?

I wanted to do better with my daughter. When she was four I started letting her go to the tuckshop at soccer or the sushi stand at the shops, ask for what she wanted and pay for it. I was standing nearby but she did all the talking. It really built her confidence.

" I started letting her walk up to the tuckshop at soccer or the sushi stand at the shops and ask for what she wanted, and pay for it. I was standing nearby but she did all the talking. It really built her confidence." Image via iStock.

4. Make them take responsibility for their possessions.

Make your children responsible for their valuable possessions and make sure there are consequences for when they don't. One of my kids, who shall remain nameless, has lost and broken three iPods.

Now, if an iPod is left on the floor, it's confiscated for a night. If it is cracked, I don’t fix it straight away. If my kids want them charged overnight, they are responsible for plugging them in.

5. Get them involved in looking after a family pet.

According to developmental psychologist Megan Mueller, kids who bond with a family pet tend to have “better coping strategies in dealing with stress”.

I know that getting a dog has taught my children so much about caring for something other than themselves and it’s a lesson we carry throughout the entire family.

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Before we got her, I explained that if we got a dog they would have to help care for it, and then I set out a list of duties we would have to share. If they don’t care for her, she’s going back to the pet shop. No, I’d never return her, but they don’t know that.

'I know that getting a dog has taught my children so much about caring for something other than themselves and it’s a lesson we carry throughout the entire family." Image via iStock.

6. Enforce the “wait your turn” rule.

I once met a mum who used to stop talking to me the second her daughter wanted her attention. They’d have a long, drawn out interaction and I’d be left waiting to resume our conversation. With three children in the family this is completely impossible and I also think a little unhealthy. My children know they have to wait their turn to get my attention. I only have one set of ears..

7. Enrol in team sports.

Team sports teach children so much about fairness, taking turns and community. I can’t think of even one bad thing about them. My boys play soccer and my daughter has started netball. The benefits are great. Yes, the kids sometimes get injured, train in the cold or play in the rain. Sure my daughter copped a ball on the lip but that’s part of their learning.

I watch from the sidelines and keep an eye on them but for the most part they run off and do what they need to do. It’s incredibly rewarding to watch.

How do you raise your kids to be resilient?

Here are some choice role models should you need some more inspiration: