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time with your kids — and turn off the TV and cellphones while you’re talking. In Scouting, take advantage of Scoutmaster conferences, drive time and moments around the campfire.


5 Accept kids for who they are. Even when your kids don’t meet your expectations, it’s vital to accept them and recognize their innate tempera- ments. Rather than criticizing natural behaviors, find ways to change those behaviors in a way that doesn’t erode self-esteem. Let’s say you have a Scout who’s chronically late to meetings. Give him a job to do before each meeting so he will be motivated to arrive on time.


6 Give kids a chance to help. When Goldstein and Brooks asked adults about their most positive memories of school, most mentioned contributing in some way: tutoring a younger student, running the projec- tor in class, etc. Scouts have plenty of opportunities to serve. When schedul- ing service projects, take full advantage of youth leadership positions.


7 Treat mistakes as learning experiences. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn, but many adults overreact to mistakes, thereby teaching kids to avoid taking risks. Scouting, of course, encourages kids to try — and fail at — new skills all the time. As a Scout leader, emphasize that mistakes are a natural part of life (for kids and adults alike). And help your Scouts learn from their mistakes.


8 Stress your children’s strengths. Every child has his or her own strengths — or “islands of competence,” in Brooks’ and Goldstein’s words. It’s your job as a parent and a Scout leader to draw attention to those strengths. Look for instances when kids do things well and offer specific praise. Resilient kids are buoyed by success.


9 Let kids solve problems and make decisions. Many parents and Scout leaders rush in too quickly to rescue kids from problems. When health and safety aren’t at risk, it’s better to hang back and encourage kids to figure out their own solutions. If the Cobra Patrol ruins its dinner on a campout, don’t immediately offer food from the adult patrol box. Instead, help them brainstorm ways not to go hungry.


6 Discipline to teach. Never discipline a Scout in ways that intimi- date or humiliate. Praise in public and criticize in private. One more thing: Model resilience


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in your own life. “I’m not convinced you can teach resilience without affording children opportunities to observe it in action,” Goldstein says. “They need to observe resilient people in their lives.” In other words, people like parents and Scout leaders. ¿


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