How To Build Resilience After Getting Hurt


“I’m gonna run down Mama!” 

She took off with gusto, holding on to her tiara, dirt flying. 🤙🏼

It’s hard to tell in this photo, but it’s a nice sized hill with cattle guards every 25 feet or so. I’m always torn in these quick situations, on what to say or do to keep her safe.

What do you say to your kids that builds awareness?

If I thought quickly enough, I could describe what to look out for rather than yelling, “be careful!” (which doesn’t lend itself to problem solving).

I could say, “Did you notice the cattle guards?”

That might have helped!

But sometimes letting go, as long as it’s not dangerous, can help children learn too. It takes some trust. And truly- who am I to make a child second guess running free, one of the greatest joys of childhood? 

Can you guess what happened next?

respectful parenting RIE

Did you guess the skinned knee?

She fell hard mid “weeeee!” 

I was feeling sad for her on top of that mom guilt that creeps up on us sometimes. Though, I know these experiences are natural and healthy.

What we can do to help is respond in a way that comforts and builds grit.

We can walk over with momentum and get close. We can allow tears to flow, whether it’s their body or pride that’s hurt. Maybe we offer words contingent to what really happened. This might be, “you fell hard over that cattle guard! I saw that. I'm sorry that happened.” And stay with them.

There is no need for rushing in and scooping them up, and offering “it’s okay” or “don’t cry.” It’s good intentioned, yet it can stop our children from processing what happened. It comes from a place of fear, ya know? Many times, they can feel that.

Resilience and confidence flourish when we shine as the calm and super accepting mamas that we are.

experiencing a hard feeling, noticing it pass, and coming out the other side ready to play and explore again is what true grit is all about.

30 minutes later, 2 bandaids, lots of hugs, and a bucket of tears later, she jogged down the rest of the hill, and watched out for those darn cattle guards.

I can’t help but marvel at who she is, and truly it’s all her.

I’d love to know: how do you build grit in your children? What words do you give when small accidents, and bumps and bruises happen? Feel free to share in the comments, I read every one.

Lots of love,

Jesse xo

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