Life is full of difficulty from loss, stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. 

There is no escaping the ever-changing flow of the good and the bad. Life is full of difficulty, such as experiencing loss, stress, anxiety, depression, and fear. On the other hand, life can also bring an abundance of joy, determination, excitement, and special memories to cherish. Resilience marks how we respond to these situations, especially after experiencing something that emotionally paralyzes us. Illinois Extension can show how to build resiliency in your children

How to help teens build resiliency

  • Keep it positive. Help youth shape a positive mindset by challenging them to think in a positive directions. Encourage them to seek positive people as well.
  • Encourage youth to help others. Help youth determine how they can lend a helping hand for others. This ultimately makes them feel good to.
  • Coach them to increase self-awareness. Help youth keep a healthy self-check by teaching them to identify and become aware of needs and emotions. This is a time to encourage them to become aware vs dwelling.
  • Encourage self-discipline. Help youth establish healthy routines and schedules.
  • Discuss short term and long term goals. Listen to youth and also allow them to identify goals that can give them a sense of accomplishments and purpose.
  • Promote courage and a sense of self growth. Help youth build confidence by providing positive and constructive feedback as well as a sense of direction for how to face challenges.
  • Accept change. Help youth realize they cannot always control situations and that adversity is temporary. Help youth identify personal strengths they possess to address challenges as well as identify areas of difficulty in themselves in which they can seek assistance. 
  • Identify positive support. Encourage youth that utilizing positive support is a strength and become aware of negative support as well.

Putting it into practice

  1. Schedule a daily time to journal. Focus on three good things that have happened to you for the day. What are three things you can add to your list right now? Jot down some ideas to help get you started!
  2. Give it a title. Explain how and why the situation happened and identify what made it a positive event.
  3. Your feelings are important. Describe how those positive events made you feel.
  4. Keep up the good work! Daily journaling helps you keep a record of those positive events so you can reflect on those experiences.


APA, Mary K. Alvord,, Robin Gurwitch, Jana Martin, and Ronald S. Palomares.

Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410.