Parenting and resilience. A child's hand grips the finger of a trusted adult.

Parenting and Resilience


ParentTalk continues its important series on the power of your relationship with your child.  This week, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Lia Gaggino, a leader in our profession of pediatrics.  Dr. Gaggino sits on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the world’s leading society in the field of pediatrics.  As a pediatrician, she brings a lifelong commitment to the well-being of our children, and as a podcaster, she stands as an important voice and advocate for issues related to the welfare of parents and children alike.

In this episode, we talk about resilience, one of the great gifts we have as humans, and the key to our children’s developing minds.

Resilience is emerging as a high priority field of research for at least two reasons.

First, so much of our attention is paid to harmful events that really cause trauma to children.  And that attention is well-deserved.  Trauma is universal to humanity.  No one can live life without harmful events, so we should study their impact.

Merely talking about trauma leaves parents feeling like they are walking on eggshells, living in dread of a misstep that may cause new traumas or aggravate existing ones.  But on the other end of human experience is resilience, or the ability to withstand and rebound from trauma.  Everyone will experience pain, but everyone can also positively respond and recover from it.

Second, the power of resilience is turning out to be nothing short of extraordinary.  Give the child a chance, and this power can overcome many, many traumas.  The child’s brain turns out to be poised for success, seeks it, and if a path forward is available, will take it.

Please join us for an important conversation about resilience with one of our nation’s leading pediatricians.  For more on Dr. Gaggino, please listen to her extraordinary podcast, Pediatric Meltdown.

“The thing I would say to parents is: you are the antidote to toxic stressors and difficult things in life.  That magic between you and your child, you being able to say, ‘I’m here.  This is going to be tough, but you’ve got this and I’m here with you,’ is incredibly buffering, and builds what are called positive childhood experiences that help us ride the wave of life’s difficulties.  Because there are lots.  We can’t protect our children from those, as much as we’d like to.”

– Dr. Lia Gaggino

Episode Highlights:

– What is resilience?

– Buffering adverse child experiences and toxic stress.

– The connection between relational health and resilience.

– It isn’t necessary for parents to be perfect to build resilience.  They just need to stay in the game.

– The importance of children finding “their person.”

– The importance of parents to attending to their own mental health needs, and of seeing self-care as a benefit to their child.

– Support systems parents can find to build their resilience, and the resilience of their children.

– Naming and normalizing emotions.

– Contending with bullying and other common adverse child experiences.