In spite of her busy schedule, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg drops her two young children off at school in the morning and leaves work by 5:30 p.m. to be at home with them. That isn’t to say that Sandberg stops working by that hour, however the now single working mother has shaped her schedule so she can be routinely present for her children, who, in 2015, lost their father Dave Goldberg. That event set Sandberg off on a mission to learn as much as she could about resilience and overcoming adversity, so she could pass the lessons on to her children and the public.
In a New York Times op-ed, Sandberg writes about parenting techniques she’s been using to build resilience, such as showing kids they matter (meaning they make a difference to others). Another parenting skill that builds resilience that she mentions is “companioning,” or providing support by simply being present and listening.
When her husband was alive, she says they had a dinner tradition of revealing their best and worst moments of the day. It was a small ritual, but one where the children received undivided attention, another tool that can build children’s resilience and belief that they matter. To that end, Sandberg also didn’t shy away from talking about her late-husband in front of her children, encouraging them to do so. Talking about the past, while painful at the time, provides children a sense of where they came from and builds resilience over time.
To help keep coping tools at the forefront, Sandberg and her children wrote down their “family rules,” such as “It’s O.K. to be sad and to take a break from any activity to cry. It’s O.K. to be happy and laugh.” The rules, she said, were taped to a visible spot as a reminder for her and her kids.
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