Will my Child be OK?

Most parents worry if their child will be ok, especially because they can’t protect them from all of the hardships their children face while growing up.  Parents only have so much control over what happens and although most of us do the best we can in our parenting at the time, we oftentimes look back and wished we had parented differently. 

Some children are hammered with obstacles while others sail through without much of a hitch.  Unfair, but the reality.  Although those most vulnerable tend to experience more frequent and severe obstacles; there are those that have a biological resistance to hardship and can fight off the difficulties without feeling vulnerable while others with a more susceptible biological makeup struggle with even the slightest bump in the road.  It’s no one’s fault.  It just is the way it is. 

What is needed for a child to be ok?  Research indicates that the single most common factor for children to help them be ok is their children’s involvement in a stable and committed relationship with a supported adult or caregiver. With this, children are more able to develop resilience.  Of course, this pressures parents to work through their parent/child struggles, yet it breathes a sigh of relief and hope for parents as they build this relationship and gain some influence over their child being ok. 

So, how can we predict if our child will be ok?  There are four factors that help children be more resilient to the difficulties they face.

  • Parents need to ensure that their child is hooked into a relationship with themselves and with other supportive adults.
  • Parents need to help their child/adolescent develop a belief about themselves so that they become drivers of their own lives, believing they have the power to contribute to their life’s destiny. 
  • Parent also need to provide opportunities for their child so that they can adapt to life’s ups and downs, learn how to regulate their own strengths and limitations, manage their emotions and utilize helpful coping strategies when facing difficulties.
  • Parents need to encourage their child to seek and find faith-based hope to help in their quest for a good life, with values, goals, traditions, and standards they incorporate into their inward being.

Is my child going to be ok?  At least with these suggestions, there is a very good chance your child will become resilient to the many obstacles they face until they are adult.

Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW