Many different people play a parenting role in children and youth’s lives. There are biological parents, adoptive parents, stepparents, as well as guardians and other caregivers. Here we use the term parent to refer to anyone who raises and nurtures children and youth.
A young person’s resilience is greatly affected by parental expectations, their style of discipline, and the quality of attachment and communication between them. But it is important to remember that there are seven other groups of factors that affect young people’s resilience. These other factors can be strengthened if this factor is weak.
Parents contribute to resilience with:
- Parents show love, warmth, and intimacy.
- There is a strong, positive, emotional attachment between the young person and their parents.
- Young people feel accepted and respected.
- Straightforward, open, and honest communication exists between the young person and his/her parents.
- Parents and young people are able to talk about their lives and share difficulties and dilemmas.
- While topics such as sexuality and substance use may be difficult to discuss openly and honestly, young people benefit from talking about values and beliefs, getting advice, and learning about the hazards.
- Parents are able to communicate calmly and manage their own emotions.
- Open communication, cooperation, and harmony between parents, including those who are separated or divorced.
- Parents set high expectations for young people’s behaviour. They make decisions but consult with and listen to young people in their care. Their discipline is constructive.
- Parents monitor the activities and behaviour of young people in their care.
- Parents value young people’s growing independence, self-control, and autonomy. They providing safe opportunities for them to take increasing control over their lives with the safety of their parents’ care and support.
- There are clear parental boundaries and a consistent parenting style, based on a strong value system. An authoritative style is ideal for fostering resilience.
- Parents are involved in school and other activities that are important to the young person.
- Parents are attuned to the needs and temperament of their children. They understand their child’s development stage. They have a realistic sense of their child’s strengths and limitations.
- Resilient parents are optimistic and satisfied with their own lives.
- They are reliable and consistent, yet able to adapt to new situations with ease.
- They feel able to control or make a difference in their environment.
- They show responsibility and interest in the world, through faith-based activities or social justice, ecological, or other causes.
- Young people are exposed to the ways that their parents work to solve problems and learn about the family’s values and attitudes.
Strategies to strengthen this factor:
- Provide classes and workshops for parents to strengthen their understanding and skills in this area.