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Fortifying Strengths

Times of turmoil, uncertainty, challenge, or change can test anyone’s mettle (or their ability to flourish). Parents are well-positioned to offer their children reassurance, and to demonstrate coping skills and strategies for enhancing resilience and overcoming adversity.

Here are 10 practical pointers for parents:

  1. Lead by example—for instance, by modeling patience, self-confidence, resolve, optimism, reflection, kindness, and gratitude.
  2. Stay connected with friends, extended family, and supportive others, and build a circle of trust and a supportive network.
  3. Be mindful of how to best manage experiential ups-and-downs. Help your child learn to make smart choices, for example with respect to attitudes, values, learning opportunities, relationships, and commitments.
  4. Collaborate with your child to co-create manageable expectations, and to consider creative possibilities for dealing with problems and thorny eventualities.
  5. Show your child how to build upon their strengths, develop their skill sets, and find resources. Model a love of learning.
  6. Be attuned to your child’s individual needs—which will be in flux as they continue to learn and grow.
  7. Ensure that your child has time and space to play, release energy, and engage in creative expression.
  8. Seek professional assistance if your child exhibits exhaustion, sudden academic decline, substance abuse, anxiety, or other “red flags.”
  9. Embrace your child’s uniqueness.
  10. Look after your own mental, physical, and emotional wellness so as to better be able to fortify your family’s well-being.


“The best way to raise children is to live the promise of possibility—by seeing ourselves and our places within society as works in progress, by appreciating the myriad prospects that can result from change, by embracing opportunities to learn, and, perhaps most importantly, by teaching children to do the same.”
~ Beyond Intelligence, p. 248


Adapted from a previous article by Dr. Joanne Foster, published by Best Version Media’s Neighbours Magazines, and distributed across Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Joanne Foster

Dr. Joanne Foster, an acclaimed author and educator, has dedicated over 35 years to gifted education and child development. With expertise in psychology and special education, her work empowers parents and educators, fostering creativity and high-level learning in children and teens. Dr. Foster has written countless articles, and several books—the most recent being Ignite Your Ideas: Creativity for Kids.

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During the summer, parents are often concerned whether their kids will retain the knowledge they’ve acquired over the past school year, or whether they’ll experience a learning lapse. Here are some considerations and suggestions for parents.