Resilience is one of those life long skills that we all need. At times I have doubts about my own resilience so wonder how I’m going to instill this important skill on my child and those that I teach or have the opportunity to develop relationships with.
I was reading some articles on this subject and there is so much information out there it’s hard to sort through. I will mention below the articles that I borrowed information from.
The most important thing that I found out was that it’s the parents and/or main care givers who need to do the most to ensure our children become resilient. Hopefully teachers and other adults will all do their part which will support your children on this journey but the buck stops with mum, dad or their main caregivers.
Resilience is more than coping. It’s the ability to bounce back after disappointment, take on challenges, shrug off failures and know boundaries to develop interpersonal and personal skills. Seeking new experiences and opportunities that require risks to achieve goals and navigate setbacks and rejections. Resilience builds great self-confidence.
So what can we do as parents and carers? Children need loving and strong positive interactions with their parents and carers and opportunities to safely make mistakes and learn from them. A sense of humour is a wonderful tool both at home and in dealing with the challenges life throws up. There is nothing like a big belly laugh to make you feel great inside. Find something funny in any adverse situation to keep things in perspective. Teach your children to make plans, be organised, have self discipline, be tidy and have reduced clutter around so they can think clearly. Help them understand that they need to work hard and be resourceful to be successful. Nothing is handed to us on a platter, don’t hide this fact from your children.
Helping your child connect with a good school and be involved in positive community groups like Stepnout Performing Arts will also offer opportunities to develop resilience and a sense of belonging. Opportunities here are as simple as successfully preparing for exams, practising concert dances at home so they know them, trying to push themselves a little further in those steps or stretches that they are struggling to master. Our teachers are here to help all of our students achieve goals. They only have to ask or show initiative.
Finally, memories from childhood build patterns of expectation in the brain for life. Those little rituals that you have can make all the difference. Repeated “magic” moments like reading a book snuggled together at night, singing together in the car, watching movies together, walking in the park, your family’s festive traditions, Birthday celebrations can help them anticipate positive and optimistic moments in life.
Bringing up children is probably the hardest thing you will ever do but just like the magic moment when you first held them in your arms it could be the most rewarding experience of your life. It takes a lot to build resilient, happy people but the rewards and joys make it worth every tear.
Resources: The Little Things are the big Things-Building Resilience by Maggie Dent, Resilience: Helping your child to ‘bounce back’ by Toni Noble & Helen McGrath.
You could also look back on the blog “Dancing builds resilience” from 8 March 2016.
Have a great Term!