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Emotional Tolerance and Resilience

The last resilience column looked at the importance of validating children’s emotions.   A big challenge in this area is dealing with unpleasant emotions – the ones that make us uncomfortable or which just downright hurt.

Parents want their children to be happy and enjoy life.  They often do whatever they can to help children avoid the unpleasant feelings in life.  Seeing children feel uncomfortable leads parents to feel uncomfortable as well.

Modeling, or copying, is one of the best ways that children learn.  This means it is important for parents to consider how they themselves manage unpleasant feelings. 

It is also important for parents to tolerate seeing their children struggle and be uncomfortable.  This keeps them from rushing in and “fixing” the feelings and instead guide their children in dealing with their own unpleasant feelings.  Parents who develop their own emotional tolerance will benefit their children’s resilience.