Parents need to build resilience of post-secondary students

(NC) -- Most students measure time and achievements by the academic year, not the calendar year. This means New Year's Day is always in September.

They arrive on campus for the big celebration and soon after, they're expected to settle down and apply themselves to the standard resolutions, like: This year I'm going to find the right balance, eat healthy food, get more sleep, and not leave assignments until the last minute.

But just as in the real world, things don't always go as planned. What then? Why is it that some students have the resilience to bounce back with renewed determination, or with a new plan, while others find it difficult to cope?

The difference may lie in what parenting expert and best-selling author Barbara Coloroso calls “tragic optimism”. In an exclusive interview on the website, Labatt Family Talk About Drinking, the author explained it as possessing the knowledge that there's nothing we can't get through. This is something kids and young adults can learn from the examples set by their parents, points out the author of Kids are Worth It!, and The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander.

It's important for parents to demonstrate their own ability to carry on through life's upsets and challenges, even with such simple actions as getting up and making breakfast for the family the day after something goes wrong. “They need to know that nothing is so big that it can't be improved,” said Coloroso.

She goes on to explain that parents can help their kids and young adults develop resilience by giving them six critical life messages:

• I believe in you

• I trust in you

• I know you can handle this

• You're listened to

• You're cared for

• You're very important to me

These same messages are the basis of Coloroso's bestselling book, Kids are Worth It!

“The foundation of this messaging is saying I believe you are worth the time, energy and resources it takes to help you become all you can become,” she points out. “But also say to your kids: If you ever find yourself in a mess, call.”

“We have to say, we're there for you and we will help you get through this,” she continued. “But hold them accountable. It gives them the sense that, mom and dad think I can handle this.

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