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Parenting Through Play: Using Carefully to Promote Resilience in Your Child 

Life isn't easy. And it comes with its fair share of challenges.

As parents, we know that, but what about kids?

As parents, we think it is our duty to protect our children from stress and heartbreak as long as possible. But if there's any parenting wisdom we've learned from Brene Brown, it is this:

“The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.”

And that right there, is resilience.

Girls sitting together

Raising Resilient Kids

Anxiety. Depression. Bullying. The constant pressure of college and good grades.

These are just some of the stresses Gen Zs and Gen Alphas face.

And that's why resilience is critical for kids.

Resilience is the ability to ‘bounce back’ and 'get up' after a challenge, defeat, or tough time. It's the ability to thrive despite setbacks, failures, and punches life throws your way.

Resilience is crucial for children as it enables them to adapt well to adversity, trauma, and stress.

Building resilience doesn't just help children in childhood but also develops essential skills for future challenges in adolescence and adulthood. Children with high resilience are adept at managing stress, which is vital since prolonged stress can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. 

However, resilience can not be taught in classrooms or from textbooks. It comes from experiences: from failures, setbacks, and challenges.

Fortunately, parents can foster resilience through everyday play and simple playdates and help children build the skills and emotional strength they need to overcome challenges.

Using Carefully Playdates to Promote Resilience

Resilience means recovering and growing through adversity.


It is about harnessing your inner strength and learning from challenges: preparing children to cope and thrive amidst life’s difficulties. It acknowledges adversity, confronts it, and transforms it into a learning and growth opportunity. 


That's why playdates, which allow children to be in new and completely different situations can be strategically used to cultivate resilience in children. If done right, these simple playdates can provide kids with the skills and experiences necessary to handle life's challenges.


Not sure how to plan a playdate?

Well, Carefully can help!

Download the app, sign up, and plan playdates structured to enhance resilience effectively.  


Here's how to use playdates as an opportunity to promote resilience in children:

Gradual Exposure and Adaptation

Playdates help improve your child's social skills and teach them how to interact, communicate, and maintain healthy boundaries with other adults.

Begin with shorter playdates and gradually extend their duration.

This approach allows children to adjust at their own pace, which can be particularly beneficial for those who feel overwhelmed by new situations. It also helps build confidence and develop stronger coping mechanisms incrementally.

Adult helping child with task

Problem-solving and Critical Thinking

Uh oh! Your child forgot to pack an extra pair of clothes. And now he needs another pair of shorts or maybe even a jacket.

Without you, he must figure out what to do, who to ask for help, and how to solve the problem. He needs to be creative and find a solution to overcome the challenge.

So step back and let the situation teach him to depend on himself instead of you.

Learn Conflict Resolutions

It's healthy for children to have some level of conflict. (Bullying is still unacceptable.)

But his playmates might have a different opinion on how to play a certain game or who gets to go first- and that conflict is good.

Instead of swooping in to save the day, gently guide them so they can resolve the issue independently. This also gives children a sense of control over the situation and teaches them how to communicate and become problem solvers.

Opportunities for Self-Discovery


Tough times often reveal inner strengths.

Guide children to reflect on what they learn about themselves when faced with challenges during playdates. Encouraging them to understand and articulate these insights fosters personal growth and resilience.

Two boys playing outside

Setbacks Lead to Growth

It's natural to want to protect our children from negative experiences, yet it's important not to shield them entirely from life’s challenges. Providing opportunities for children to build confidence and learn how to navigate obstacles, successes, and failures is vital. 


Encouraging children to adopt an attitude of 'having a go' teaches them to approach life with a willingness to try. Experiencing and tolerating failure is part of this process, as it is essential for learning and protects against anxiety.

Playdates will be full of new experiences that will help your child step out of their comfort zone.

Take them as an opportunity to discuss real-life challenges and encourage children to brainstorm solutions, mirroring how adults manage difficulties. (This teaches them that problems are solvable and manageable.) Remind your child of past hardships they've overcome, reinforcing that these experiences build the strength needed for future challenges. Encourage them to trust in their ability to solve problems and make decisions, underscoring their role in contributing to the well-being of their class and community.


Watch them Go From ‘I Can’t’ to ‘I Can’

From feeling overwhelmed with "I can't" to embracing the empowering belief of "I can," children learn that with resilience, every challenge is a stepping stone towards growth and self-confidence.  

Learn from Talia Kovacs

If your kid has stomped off the field after they’ve missed a goal, crumpled their artwork out of frustration because they made a mistake, or given up quickly when something feels too hard, it might be time to take notes from Talia Kovacs.

Talia empowers parents to raise resilient kids.

She turns big meltdowns over small issues into a deep well of self-reliance and teaches a child to be comfortable with mistakes through her work at Calm Connected.

Join her channel on Carefully to get access to her tips on how to raise resilient kids or read her complete interview to learn her about her Resilience Framework.

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