Building Inner Strength

Keeping it together – and even growing stronger – during times of stress.

Happy family of parents, three children, and a grandfather

 Raising a family is stressful. Staying strong and flexible when things get tough can help you guide your family through challenges. Knowing how to tap into that inner strength builds parental resilience. Parental resilience means managing your feelings, solving problems with a clear head, taking care of yourself and sheltering your kids, even when things are difficult.

Inner Strength can look like…

Pressing a pause button

Taking a breath or counting to 10 before you react

Hiking boot

Taking time to recharge

Detour sign

Staying flexible when things don’t go as planned

Hear From Parents

Ask Yourself…

There are no right answers. Thinking about these questions can help you understand your family’s strengths.

Generally speaking, is your inner voice more positive or more negative? Flip to Learn More
Everyone has an inner voice. The way we think and feel about our daily experiences is called self-talk, and it can be helpful or harmful. Being your own worst critic can damage your self-confidence and can fuel depression. But when that inner voice is positive, you are more likely to feel empowered. When you have negative thoughts, be kind to yourself—just like you’d support someone else—and seek out strategies that help you cope. Back to Question
Do you feel guilty about taking time away from your kids? Flip to Learn More
Sometimes the connection we feel to our kids or the message that we hear from family, friends and even the media makes us feel guilty about getting away. But taking some guilt-free time away from your family responsibilities is a healthy choice for you and your kids. Deliberately set time aside for yourself. Just a few minutes of regular relaxation can go a long way toward building your inner strength. Back to Question
When your child has a problem, do you blame yourself? Flip to Learn More
It’s hard to avoid the self-blame game, especially when you feel pressured to be a perfect parent. Instead of obsessing about what you think you’ve done wrong or could have done differently, focus on the steps you can take to guide and support your child. Letting go of blame, focusing on your child’s needs and moving forward builds your inner strength—and your child’s. Back to Question
Next Question

Try This

Now that you understand the Five Strengths and why they are important for all families, you may want to explore more about how you can recognize and build them for your own family. Explore the ideas and exercises below, or go to the Next Steps page to find resources that can help guide you as you explore what to look for, where to learn more and what you can do to build each of the Five Strengths.