Where do you get your resilience from?

Once I was asked about resilience – where do you get your resilience from?

If someone were to ask me to name one quality we should foster in our children, I would say “resilience.” Resilience is one of the most important skills we acquire in childhood and a skill we continue to develop throughout our lives. While there are undoubtedly numerous other essential skills required for life, the ability to rebound from adversity serves as the bedrock upon which all other skills rest.

But how does one nurture this vital skill?

Resilience flourishes in an environment characterized by loving relationships, opportunities to process disappointments, and room to struggle. I firmly believe that the initial prerequisite for resilience is having someone in your life who loves you unconditionally and genuinely enjoys your company.

Connectmy Dora

All humans need to feel connected, seen, heard, understood, and appreciated. Children especially need this. In my own childhood, my grandmother, Dora, took this role. I don’t think Dora knew much about child development or intentionally tried to influence my life. Dora allowed me to explore the treasures in her purse and listened attentively to my every story. She was delighted to spend time with me.

When I was five years old, my parents and I were in the midst of moving to a new apartment—an exciting yet emotionally charged event. It was difficult to leave behind the house I had known and loved my entire life. So, I turned to my grandmother, Dora, and said, “I’m going to the corner of the room now to say ‘goodbye, house,’ and you will say back to me, ‘goodbye, Kira.’” I reassured Dora that I understood the house couldn’t really respond, but I needed this closure. Dora understood me perfectly and granted my request, helping me process one of my first experiences of separation and loss.


The second key element in developing resilience is the opportunity to confront the challenges we encounter throughout the day and process what happens. It is like taking a heavyweight off of the child’s back after a stressful moment. Just before the move to our new home, my parents decided that I would spend the night at my uncle and aunt’s house. It was my first night away from home, and my Aunt Valentina and Uncle Dmitry put me on a lofty, plush bed—a thrillingly new experience. I awoke as soon as the sun’s rays streamed through the window and rushed to their bedroom, exclaiming, “Wake up, Aunt Valentina and Uncle Dmitry! How can you still be sleeping? The sun is up! I understand I’m a child, but you’re grown-ups—you should be up!” They chuckled and explained that it was still quite early, but they got out of bed.

Crane lesson

Aunt Valentina began preparing breakfast, and Uncle Dmitry retrieved a small wooden miniature crane, a bird perched on one long leg. I was utterly captivated by this toy, cradling it gently in my hands. The leg was remarkably long, and a sudden curiosity overcame me—what would happen if I squeezed it between my fingers? I did just that, and with an unfortunate snap, it broke. I stared at the broken crane in disbelief, panic welling up within me. It had happened so swiftly, and there was no way to undo it. I felt terrible, utterly embarrassed about breaking such a cherished gift. Tears streamed down my face, and both Aunt Valentina and Uncle Dmitry were very concerned about what could have upset me so much. They kept asking me what happened, but for a long while, I remained silent, shedding tears. Eventually, I confessed to breaking the toy. They listened intently, and then Uncle Dmitry said, “Let’s see what we can do about it. I think there might be a way to fix this.”

Uncle Dmitry retrieved some pliers, carefully removed the leg, shortened it, and reattached it. The leg was not as long anymore, but it was fixed. We sat together and discussed the incident. I recall Uncle Dmitry telling me that problems often have solutions, and it’s crucial to consider what can be done.


The third crucial element is the opportunity to struggle. While my mother and grandmother were inclined to shield me from struggles to protect my feelings from frustration and disappointment, my father adopted a different stance. He was willing to wait and refrain from intervening prematurely. He was the one who taught me to read and ride a bicycle, instilling in me a belief in myself and the importance of determination.


The fourth element of raising a resilient child is making sure that we model self-compassion and do not forget to recharge our own batteries. I bet that when parents think about upbringing children and particularly about fostering resilience, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Questions may pop up in our minds: What if I don’t do well enough? What if I am missing something? It is easy to start feeling guilty. Yet, look at the whole situation from another perspective. If we want our children to be able to recover from mistakes, we should first model self-compassion for ourselves.

Parents need to have resources in order to provide for their children. My mom modeled self-care for me. When she was tired, she would take short naps during the day and would wake up in a good mood. She planned our vacations for us to be able to spend time together and relax.

All these intentional and unintentional episodes in my life coalesced to mold me into a resilient, determined individual, ready to face life’s challenges head-on.

Here is a full interview about resilience: https://boldjourney.com/meet-kira-solomatova/

Let me know if you need more information about RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Classes.

Wishing you all the best in this difficult yet exciting journey of parenting!


Teacher Kira

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Facilitated by a RIE® Associate, small groups of parents and babies come together in a relaxing, infant-friendly environment to make friends and enjoy learning together.


What will you and your child learn in RIE class ? Children move, explore, discover, play and learn.


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