Today I would like to write about some aspects of developing resilience in children, a topic that I am passionate about. I recently listened to a talk by Lyn Worsley, as part of a training course on building resilience in children. Here is my summary of her presentation, including some of my own thoughts on the matter. For me, the building of resilience in our children is a large part of the process of good parenting. The International Resilience Project defines resilience as, “the human capacity to face, overcome and even be strengthened by the adversities of life.” Leading clinical psychologist and expert in student wellbeing, Andrew Fuller, describes resilience as, “the happy knack of being able to bungy jump through the pitfalls of life.”
All of us face some type of adversity in our lives. We all, at some stage or at several stages in our lives will face troubles. Daily, I come across the fact that parents today spend their time attempting to protect their children from any sort of pain or adversity. They are too sympathetic to any type of anxiety. But our children need to encounter anxiety and learn to deal with it. That is resilience. The more we are able to deal with our anxieties, the less anxiety we will have. Anxiety breeds anxiety. Your parenting job is to help your child to face adversity and develop resilience. Let them feel pain. Let them feel anxiety.
As parents, we need to provide our children with the tools they need to develop resilience. This is the ability to bounce back when we feel angst, depression or sadness. Evidence shows us that children with high levels of resilience do better in school: they have better school attendance, their academic performance is 20% better than those with lower level of resilience.
One of the keys to resilience is positive self-talk. We need to teach our children to replace the mentality of “I haven’t, I’m not, I can’t” with “I have, I am and I can.”
Have a wonderful week!