When it comes to helping children be successful at school, lending a hand with homework or bringing in a tutor are pretty clear-cut solutions. Fostering resilience, the ability to rebound from setbacks and manage stress, however, is a nuanced journey.

Dr. Aliza Pressman, a developmental psychologist and co-founder of the Mount Sinai Parenting Center, sheds light on this path in her latest book, "The 5 Principles of Parenting: Your Essential Guide to Raising Good Humans."

Pressman challenges the notion of shielding kids from life's hardships, emphasizing the importance of teaching them to navigate challenges instead. Her "Five R's" provide a good framework for raising resilient children:

  • Relationships: Strong connections empower children to handle any stress or adversity, such as those that belong in the following categories. A reliable caregiver transforms any toxic stress into bearable experiences.

  • Reflection: Practicing short meditation sessions in yourselves can instill self-regulation in children, who often mirror their parents' temperament. Getting kids, especially the little ones, to meditate can be a bit difficult but it is doable.

  • Regulation: Children emulate their parents' nervous system, making parental behavior a crucial factor in resilience. Teaching calm responses to discomfort fosters emotional regulation.

  • Rules: Categorized into boundaries and limits, clear and consistent rules can serve as great guides to children, reducing the need for them to be constantly on high alert for instruction.

  • Repair (or Reinforcement): Not about correcting wrongs, reinforcing relationships through empathy, love, and curiosity can strengthen the parent-child bond.

In essence, the goal is not merely happiness but the cultivation of a strong parent-child relationship. Pressman advocates for preparing children to weather life's storms, so they can emerge as resilient adults equipped for future challenges.

Picture: How was this first day, darling