How to Teach Kids Resilience With Actress Cobie Smulders

Actress Cobie Smulders

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Cobie Smulders

Cobie Smulders is an actress who is known for her role as Robin Scherbatsky in the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." She’s also starred in many movies, including her role as agent Maria Hill in Marvel movies. 

Cobie knows a thing or two about resilience. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25. She underwent multiple surgeries while starring in "How I Met Your Mother" and did not make her diagnosis public until later. Currently, she lives with her husband and two children in California.

Why Cobie Smulders Is Mentally Strong

Cobie chooses to use her star power to gather people to fight for the causes she believes in.

She has done several charity events to raise money for environmental causes and she created a public service announcement for ocean conservation. 

She also encouraged people to stay home during the COVID-19 lockdowns and she encouraged her fans to donate to a food bank during the pandemic.

Now, she’s teamed up with Colgate Smile Fund to talk about the importance of teaching kids resilience

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • Why Cobie partnered with Colgate
  • The concerns she has about children right now
  • The biggest struggles she and her children faced during the pandemic
  • Why she thinks hope is such an important part of resilience
  • How being in nature helps her mental health
  • Why she apologizes to her kids (even though her parents didn’t apologize to her)
  • Why she thinks kids need positive things to look forward to
  • Why the little things you do with your kids are actually the big things

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

People often say things like, “kids are resilient.” But, kids aren’t born resilient. They need adults to teach them how to develop resilience.

Kids need to be taught how to regulate their emotions, how to respond to unhelpful thoughts, and how to take action when they’re faced with adversity. They benefit from learning problem-solving skills and strategies for persevering even when they’re frustrated or overwhelmed.

Before we can teach them those skills, however, kids need to feel validated. That means not minimizing their feelings by telling them that they “shouldn’t worry” or that they “shouldn’t overreact.”

Instead, those are opportunities to help them find coping strategies to deal with whatever emotions they feel.

The pandemic has certainly taken a toll on many families. And most parents aren’t sure what to do to help kids right now. After all, most parents are struggling too. Holding more conversations about mental health and resilience is a good first step toward healing for everyone.

Quotes From Cobie

Cobie Smulders

The relationship I have with my kids is very honest. So, I find myself apologizing a lot or saying 'I could do better in this moment' or 'I'm sorry I reacted that way.'

— Cobie Smulders
  • "I always find that going into nature really just grounds me and, in a weird way, makes me hopeful or at least makes me grateful for the world that is all around us."
  • I think one of the many takeaways from the time we've spent during this pandemic is that I have this ability to pivot, which I had before, but certainly, I've learned to pivot a lot better now and [can] deal with disappointments and not feel them as deeply."

More About the Podcast

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Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

Links and Resources

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.