How To Instill Resilience In Your Child

We want to prepare our children for the many adventures that they will be part of in this world. As a father I talk to my daughters on a daily basis to see how they are doing. From sharing thoughts about our favorite TV shows to playing basketball in our driveway, I want to interact with them to show that I care for them. My family is big on communication. Our talks are not a one way street. My wife and I listen to our daughters. We want them to know that they have a voice. Now more than ever communication is key. Everyone this year has been struggling with one thing or another. 2020 has been hard on all of us. This is when we need to not only build up our resilience, but we need to make sure our kids are building up their resilience as well. 

Building Resilience From The Ground Up 

I had the great pleasure of speaking with Dr. Stuart Lustig this past week. Dr. Lustig and Cigna are working together to make sure people are working on their resilience. They conducted the largest ever study of resilience among children, their parents, young adults and working adults. That study, the Cigna Resilience Index, showed that resilience is at risk for 60 percent of Americans surveyed, meaning many may struggle to bounce back from challenges. Resilience is a skill that resides in all of us from a young age, with young children having the highest levels of resilience, but as they go through adolescence, their resilience declines sharply, reaching its lowest point between the ages of 18-23.

Children with lower resilience are more likely to perform worse in the classroom, suffer from anxiety, have lower self-worth and self-esteem and need treatment for a mental or behavioral health issue. That is something no parent wants their child to experience. In my conversation with Dr. Lustig I learned that there are many things that you can do to strengthen your resilience as well as your child’s. This is one area where we can be great role models. 

Teach Your Child To G.R.O.W. FORTH

Cigna launched GROW FORTH. It is their approach to building greater resilience. The words “Grow Forth” are a simple mantra that people can repeat to themselves when facing a crisis or challenge. It is a way to remind themselves to use the situation to grow and apply to future challenges and situations. This also includes a new framework to help people G.R.O.W. in the face of challenges through four simple steps:

G – Ground yourself in the situation

R – Recognize what you can control

O – Organize the resources you need

W – Work with your community for support

What a power mantra that we can share with your kids. This will work not just for 2020, but beyond. This method will help both parents and children to be face any challenge that is in their way. I am grateful to have been able to chat with Dr. Lustig about building up resilience as well as learning what he and Cigna are doing to help people succeed in life. I hope you will grow stronger from listening to my chat with Dr. Lustig. Plus using the G.R.O.W. FORTH mantra can help you solve the problem that you or your child is facing at that moment. Remember to talk to your spouse and children. That will help you this year and for the years to come. 

Keep On Learning 

To learn more about the Cigna Resilience Index and tools to help build resilience visit You can even take a questionnaire to assess your own resilience. Feel free to share your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below. 

(Please note: I teamed up with Cigna for this post, but my thoughts are my own.)

21 thoughts on “How To Instill Resilience In Your Child”

  1. My wife and I are worried about what the pandemic is doing to our kids. This is a good conversation starter that we can have with the family. I am glad you are using your platform to help dads out. Dr. Stuart brought up a lot of great points.

  2. The transition from a baby-toddler-kid is tough. I’m working on resilience with my son right now (4), including him in decisions, letting him see consequences, and reaffirming his good behavior at night before bed. Good Pod as always.

    • Thank you Joe. Glad you liked the podcast. Also that is really great to hear about what you are teaching your son! Keep up the great work.

  3. Dr. Lustig is correct on a lot of levels. Thank you for bringing him on your podcast. I will be looking to start talking with my kids about this.

  4. A friend told me about this site and this was the first article I checked out. I am glad I came to your website. As a parent I can use this site as a good resource.

    • I am glad your friend told you about my site. It warms my heart to hear that you are looking to use this site for parenting support. That is one of the reasons I created the site.

  5. My spouse and I need to share this with our kids. There is so much we can do to help our kids in life. This is one of the pillars we can create with them.


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