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“Role Modeling”
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Learning to ‘Stop & Re-think’ has strengthened Melissa’s relationship with her children and others. (1 min. 37 sec.)

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Resiliency Resources for Parents

POSITIVE ROLE MODELS

Young children copy what others say and do. Parents, and other adults in children’s lives, can learn to be positive role models for handling situations with resilience.

When parents stay calm and flexible in dealing with life’s challenges, they are teaching their children positive ways to handle stress at the same time.


Nicole speaks about the importance of positive role modeling and demonstrates a calm response when her son tries to bite her. (2 min. 19 sec.)

Here’s what you can do

  • Show understanding, compassion and kindness. Imagine what it is like to walk in other people's shoes.
  • Take three deep breaths when you’re stressed (and repeat three times) to relax your body and get control of your emotions. Watch video
  • Express feelings in a constructive way. It's OK to have all kinds of feelings. And it is reassuring for children to see parents express feelings in a way that helps situations.
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    Melissa and Val share some strategies they use to control their anger so they can be positive role models for their children. (1 min. 14 sec.)
  • Be patient. Keep on trying even when things are frustrating. Remember mistakes are just part of learning.
  • Stop and re-think. When things go wrong, try not to jump to conclusions. Ask yourself: “How else can I think about this?” “What parts can I control?” “What else can I do?”
  • Use humour. It reduces stress and helps us look at challenging situations with a positive outlook.
  • Stay positive. Looking for the upside to challenges encourages us to keep trying. And it helps us learn from these experiences.
  • Take care of your health.  Show your child that it is important to eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. A healthy life-style helps reduce daily stress and gives us mental and physical strength to deal with challenges.

  • Reach out for support. Everyone needs help sometimes.
  • Reach out to help others who are going through difficult times. Helping others also helps us to make meaning of our own hardships and recover from painful experiences.


It takes time to change – to be able to 'respond' after thinking things through instead of just reacting. You have to train yourself. But I realize that my 2-1/2-year-old son doesn't respond well to yelling. Since I've become calmer, he's been calmer...  READ MORE

Tips and Activities

  • Tip sheet with ways you can be a positive role model and build your child's resilience.
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    Our most popular poster -- "When Parents Do... Kids Learn to..."
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