It’s no secret that having resilience is an important aspect of everyday life. It allows us to cope with stress in a healthy manner, learn from life’s challenges, and grow in the face of adversity.


Resilience enhances our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. From lower rates of depression to a stronger immune system, developing resilience changes the course of our lives for the better.


So, how do we become resilient? And, more importantly, how do we raise resilient tamariki?


Surprisingly, it’s not actually as hard as we may think – yet many people grow up in an environment where these skills are lacking.


Those lacking in resilience can turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms (such as substance abuse), and face an increased likelihood of developing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. To help our tamariki not just survive but thrive in the face of adversity, here’s what we need to teach them:


The Power of Connection

With relationships, people, and connections central to Māori and Māori wellbeing, we need to make sure that our tamariki are surrounded by people who care. Whanaungatanga is a foundational value for Māori, created through forming, sharing, and maintaining close relationships and ties with people and communities. We can develop whanaungatanga by creating a supportive and inclusive environment for our tamariki.


Their Identity

Identity is fundamental in learning and promoting resilience in tamariki. It ensures that tamariki Māori understand who they are, where they come from, and their connection to their whānau and whakapapa, enhancing their sense of self and confidence in their abilities. Being aware that we are part of something greater than ourselves allows us to focus on the bigger picture and understand that no matter what we’re going through, we’re in it together.


Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

People cope with stress in different ways. Encourage young people to find what works for them. When they’re upset, does going outside in nature ground and calm them? Some useful suggestions include: listening to claiming music, communicating with a loved one, or exercising regularly. Whatever it may be, encourage them to try out healthy coping mechanisms until they develop the resilience and ability to become emotionally self-reliant.


Raising resilient tamariki is crucial, especially for tamariki who have faced adversity from a young age. With the right tools, people, and support around them, tamariki can overcome their challenges.