How to Build Resilience in Teens

April 29, 2020
The ability to recover from negative events is essential during adolescence. In this article, discover how to build resilience in teens.

It’s a fact of life that people can’t always avoid difficult problems and situations. Adolescence is a very complicated stage, meaning that it’s important for teens to develop the ability to face adversities and know how to recover from them. Read on to discover how to build resilience in teens.

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”

– Herbert George Wells –

What’s resilience?

The study of resilience in social sciences originated from efforts to understand the risk of children developing psychopathologies due to their parent’s mental illnesses, prenatal problems, and interpersonal conflicts, among other factors.

The results of these studies show that developing resilience helps to successfully cope with stress and adverse events.

How to Build Resilience in Teens

Resilience is a complex concept, and there’s no clear consensus among experts on its definition. However, they do agree on one thing: resilience means effectively dealing with risk and adversity.

In this sense, the most accurate definition we’ve found to date is the one that psychology professor Norman Garmerzy proposed. He defined resilience as: “not necessarily impervious to stress. Rather, resilience is designed to reflect the capacity for recovery and maintained adaptive behavior that may follow initial retreat or incapacity upon initiating a stressful event.

Ultimately, resilience is the ability to recover after difficult times and adapt and even learn from adversity.

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”

– Duke Ellington –

How to build resilience in teens

All teens can build resilience through learning social and planning skills, developing a healthy self-esteem, and establishing positive thinking habits.

  • Social skills learning. Knowing how to make and maintain friends, solve conflicts, and work as a team are some skills that help build resilience in teens. Also, if the teen is able to establish relationships and connections in their environment, they’ll have more opportunities to build good relationships.
  • Establish positive thinking habits. Resilient people think rationally and try to look on the bright side of adversity. In addition, it consists of not giving up when the going gets tough. Adolescence is the stage in which people learn that difficult situations and problems are part of life.
How to Build Resilience in Teens

  • Develop a healthy self-esteem. This is the key to laying the foundation for resilience. Developing a healthy self-esteem allows teens to respect themselves and others. It allows them to believe that others should treat them with respect as well, meaning they’ll be less vulnerable to bullying.
  • Set goals and make plans. Resilience means feeling confident in yourself. Knowing how to organize and develop planning skills allows you to be ready for hard work. For this purpose, adolescents must boost their strengths and know their limitations.

Why resilience in adolescence is important

A resilient teen isn’t only capable of facing difficult situations and knowing how to recover from them but will also be able to adapt to the different adversities and obstacles that they’ll inevitably have to face.

It’s essential for young people to be able to develop resilience and adaptability from an early age in order to function in the overly competitive society we live in.

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”

– Albert Einstein –