How "Bouncing Back" Builds Resilience

all emotions are welcome autonomic nervous system bounce back breaking generational cycles building resilency coregulation dysregulation family feel to heal managing emotions mom life regulated families resilience resiliency self regulation strong families uncomfortable feelings Jun 10, 2024

Yah, yah - I know this word "resiliency" is getting a lot of play... but, there is good reason for that!

I often say that life isn't perfect or linear. It's a progression that is ever-evolving, bringing with it ups and downs, "good" and "bad" times, peaceful and chaotic moments. This is the reality AND the opportunity—the opportunity to build resiliency within ourselves and our children.

Allow me to clarify.

When there are “bad/chaotic” moments (yelling, tantrums, disrespect, defiance, etc.) within our family, one of two pathways tend to emerge:

Pathway 1: The Downward Spiral
We get pulled into the downward spiral, ruminate, and tend to lose faith. This often leads to shutting down, continuing to feel overwhelmed, and escalating frustration. This is usually a repeated pattern; a dynamic that is not uncommon!

Pathway 2: The Resilient Bounce-Back
We take a moment (or several) to feel our emotions (frustration, sadness, disconnection, etc.), then we pick ourselves up and bounce back (which, by the way, is easier said than done)!

Which do you tend to do?
There is no judgement here - I’ve done both…

BUT, I am clear that when I take the second path and choose to bounce back, I know I’m building resilience for me and my family.
Again, this is way easier said than done... but it's worth the effort - trust me!

Here's How Bouncing Back Builds Resilience:

1. Modeling Emotional Acceptance
We show our children that we can accept and move through our emotions, even if they’re uncomfortable.

2. Building Identity Capital
We build evidence for ourselves that we can manage life's storms, increasing our sense of competence and resilience.

3. Riding Life's Waves Gracefully
We handle life's natural ebb and flow with grace and calm, enhancing our ability to show up as the parents we aspire to be.

4. Exploring and Using Self-Regulation Tools
We explore and use tools to self-regulate, modeling this for our children and maintaining emotional balance.

Expanding Awareness and Acknowledging the Realities of Life

One of the best ways to foster resilience is to expand our awareness - aka - notice the family dynamic and patterns we've been experiencing.  When we can take a birds eye view with this awareness, we have a better chance of acknowledge where we can take responsibility.

This is a lot easier said than done. In fact, this can be a complex process! In my Empower Your Parenting Program I walk you through these pillars (there are four in total: Awareness, Acceptance, Acknowledge and Accountability), guiding you on developing the skills to equip you on this parenting journey.

Releasing ourselves of guilt is key. Instead, I invite you to reflect on what triggered your reaction—whether it was stress, fatigue, or external pressures. Accept that imperfection is a natural part of being human and focus on what you can shift. 

Having a discussion about the crappy moments can also help build the learning steps on how to do things differently for all those involved. Keep in mind, however, that not everything needs to be a teachable moment. Choose what to focus on and repair when and where needed. These big and often uncomfortable conversations help pave the way for our children to do be able to the same as they get older (and as the conversations get more intense!!). 


Building Resilience in Ourselves

Children are always co-regulating with us. We are not just parents, we are substitute frontal lobes! As such, it's our job to be the stable, safe and confident parent for our children. This is a skill we can develop which is great news because resilient parents are better equipped to handle the ups and downs of family life!

Here are some strategies to build your own resilience:

1. Prioritize Self-Care
Manage stress effectively through exercise, hobbies, and relaxation. Studies show that having a good group of positively-supportive friends can also be helpful. 

2. Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms
I'm big on having a daily morning routine/practice. It could include journaling, meditating, reading a personal development book, or engage in movement such as working out or doing yoga.

3. Set Realistic Expectations
Understand that perfection is unattainable and set realistic expectations for yourself. Remember, our goal is progress not perfection.

4. Seek Support
Don’t hesitate to reach out to positively-supportive friends, family, or professional coaches. If it feels aligned and you're open to having my support, there are many different ways to work with me - click here to discover them.

5. Practice Mindfulness and Patience
Techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help you stay calm during challenging moments. This is so much easier said than done but, with practice, you can expand your bandwidth with tools that are best suited to and your autonomic nervous system.



Fostering a Resilient Family Culture

Creating a resilient family culture involves fostering an environment where everyone feels supported and valued. This is not an overnight job! This takes time, patience, dedication and support!

Here are some ways to achieve this:
- Encourage Open Communication: Promote honesty and open dialogue. Make it safe for everyone to express their feelings and thoughts without fear of judgment.
- Hold Regular Family Meetings: Discuss any issues, celebrate successes, and plan for the future together. This promotes a sense of unity and collective problem-solving.
- Share Responsibilities: Involve everyone in household responsibilities to teach collaboration and accountability. This helps children feel valued and capable.
- Celebrate Moments of Resilience: Acknowledge when family members bounce back from setbacks and highlight the strengths they demonstrated.
- Establish Family Traditions: Create family traditions that foster connection and provide a sense of stability. Whether it’s weekly game nights or annual vacations, these traditions can strengthen family bonds.


Long-Term Benefits of Resilience

Building resilience has long-term benefits for both parents and children. Resilient individuals are better equipped to handle life’s challenges, maintain positive relationships, and pursue their goals with confidence. For parents, resilience leads to more effective and compassionate parenting. For children, it fosters emotional intelligence, adaptability, and a strong sense of self-worth.


Parenting is a complex and ever-evolving journey. Mistakes are inevitable, but they don’t define our abilities as parents. Instead, they offer opportunities for growth and connection. By building resilience in ourselves and our children, we can navigate the ups and downs of parenting with grace and confidence.

Remember, resilience is not about never falling; it’s about getting back up each time we do. Embrace your imperfections, learn from your experiences, and model the strength and adaptability you wish to see in your children. Together, you can create a resilient family culture that thrives in the face of challenges and grows stronger with each setback.

So the next time you find yourself facing a parenting hiccup, take a deep breath, practice compassion, and use it as an opportunity to grow and strengthen your family's resiliency.

Learn more about how you can build resilience, emotional agility, and conscious awareness within your family, and bring ease and joy into your home.

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