When my daughter stepped off the bus, I could immediately tell by the pout of her lips and the little wrinkle between her eyebrows that something was wrong.
She walked to the front door looking defeated.
After a big hug and a little stroking of her hair, she was ready to launch into the epic tale of a fight with her friend. Her story was rife with drama, lies, and a heartbreak-fueled vow to never speak to the girl again.
I listened as she told her story and watched as she tried not to cry. My momma heart ached for her.
The fixer in me wanted to march right to my phone and call up the other girl’s mother to hash it all out. To explain the misunderstandings and put a Band-Aid on the emotional booboo.
But what purpose would that serve (except, of course, for making me feel better and temporarily soothing her pain)?
My daughters need to learn how to get back up when they’re knocked down—and they need to learn how to do it themselves.
As parents, we don’t want our babies to suffer heartbreak or disappointment. We just want them to be happy. But life is full of frustration and failures. That’s how we learn. And if we don’t allow our children to bounce back on their own, we’re doing them a grave disservice.
One of the ways we can help them is by exposing them to as many stories of resilience as we can. I wrote an in-depth article for A Fine Parent on the topic (including the story above) called 20 Awesome Children’s Books About Resilience (Sorted by Age). You should most definitely head over there to check it out (it includes board books through YA novels). When you’re done, come on back to check out the five bonus picture books I included below.