What You'll Discover
- Learn how to build and acknowledge your child’s resilience in a healthy way during the celebration of Black History Month
- Recognize that having to be resilient all the time can be harmful and lead to burnout.
Black History Month is a meaningful time to learn and celebrate the incredible stories and changes Black people have contributed to the world. It’s also important to celebrate this because research has shown that building children’s cultural pride helps their mental health.
When reflecting on the legacy of Black people throughout time, it is hard to miss significant examples of coping with challenging circumstances and succeeding against difficult odds. These stories often offer us powerful illustrations of resilience.
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to cope and move forward in the face of crisis. In other words, it is the ability to tackle difficult life challenges. The resilience of Black people across history highlights the strength, determination and creativity helpful to all children in managing challenges and overcoming obstacles they may face daily.
Being resilient does not stop children from experiencing negative life events, but helping children recognize their resiliency can help them manage stress. While resilience can be a positive tool, we also recognize it is unrealistic to expect at all times. Always being resilient can be tiring and lead to burnout. We want to approach resilience realizing that when times are challenging, we also need to give ourselves and each other grace.
What can we do to support positive coping skills?
Some ideas to encourage and support positive coping might include:
Celebrate Black joy:
UCLA defines black joy as “anything that inspires, supports, and uplifts Black culture.”
- Take time to celebrate Black culture and all the wonderful contributions to society by finding inspiring examples of Black culture.
- Remind your child that they are of a people whose beauty, strength, creativity and talent have shined throughout history during difficult times.
Encourage and nurture a positive self-view.
Help your child recognize and find pride in their unique and wonderful qualities.
- See our download for more ideas!
- Find ways to develop a positive racial identity by engaging with family and community and participating in fun activities relevant to your family’s culture.
- Develop self-affirmation statements with your child to celebrate their ‘Blackness’ and provide positive messaging to uplift and build your child’s self-confidence.
- Point out their successes and examples of positive behavior.
Look for opportunities to identify and praise your child’s resilience.
Help your child recognize ways they were able to overcome challenges and celebrate their resilience.
- Talk through a recent challenge at school and/or home that your child adjusted well to and celebrate the positive character traits that helped your child overcome a difficult situation.
- Discuss ways to celebrate this example of resilience and how this experience will help them in the future.
Inequality still exists and may impact our kids, but we can help their mental health by celebrating their culture and background. Black History Month is a great time to start doing so!