Living Columns & Blogs

Fathering: Raising resilient children

As a child, my dad played a significant role in helping me deal with life’s ups and downs. Whether it was helping me bounce back from our baseball team losing an all-important game, or helping me get through my homework, I trusted he would be there to provide the love and support I needed. Resilience is the ability to overcome all kinds of challenge in our lives. All children face adversity of some sort, and fathers play a crucial role in helping them to develop their own resilience along the way.


▪ Model resilience as a parent. Our children see how we respond when we make our own mistakes and whether or not we stay calm will leave a lasting impression on them.

▪ Let your child fail. As a parent, our tendency is to sweep in to make things all better for them, but by doing so we relieve them of a valuable opportunity to learn lessons and grow in character.

▪ Listen to your child. While they may be dealing with issues that may not seem all that significant, those issues are important to them in the moment and we must not belittle them but give them a safe place to express themselves.

▪ Help your child prepare to deal with situations they face. Express your confidence in them that they can handle the problem, and be there when they need to talk through their plan to resolve it.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides monthly Action Ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents. For more information, or to join local conversations, contact David Eggebeen at, Robert Orndorff at, Mick Trombley at, Chris Dufour at, Mark Oleynik at, Doug Loviscky at, or Marc McCann at