A raging pandemic, gun violence, climate change — as an educational psychologist, I’ve seen firsthand how the troubling events of today are taking a toll on our children.
“It’s hard to stop thinking about bad stuff,” an 11-year-old told me recently. “Sometimes I worry about waking up.”
Without the right tools to handle adversity, hopelessness can set in and kids’ overall well-being can decline. Hope is what energizes them to stay mentally strong during tough times, and it’s what sets them apart from those who give up easily….
Mentally strong kids understand the value of hope
Research shows that hopefulness can dramatically reduce childhood anxiety and depression. Hopeful kids have an inner sense of control. They view challenges and obstacles as temporary and able to be overcome, so they are more likely to thrive and help others.
Yet despite its immense power, hope is largely excluded from our parenting agendas. The good news? Hope is teachable. One of the best ways to increase this strength is by equipping children with skills to handle life’s inevitable bumps.
Here are nine science-backed ways to help kids maintain hope — especially during tough times: