By Kathleen Boucher
What does resilience mean, and why is it important to teach children this skill?
Dictionary.com defines Resilience or resiliency as:
- ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. ¹
- the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity
This short article will focus on the first definition. Years ago, it was thought that you either naturally had resiliency or you didn’t. It was considered a character trait that you were born with.
Now, it is believed that resiliency is an attribute that can be taught. It all depends on the mindset that the person assumes before taking on whatever obstacle or challenge that stands in their way.
I remember listening to a father complain that his son only took two weeks of Taekwondo before he quit. Here are some questions that went through my mind. [My son was taking the class, at the time.]
- Did the child want to take Taekwondo in the first place?
- Had the father brought his son to watch a class before signing up?
- Did the father discuss with his child how hard he might have to work to master a new skill?
- Did the father help his son develop awareness of what he found challenging?
- Did the father help his son find solutions to what he found difficult?
Perhaps, if this man had had a discussion with his son before he started the classes, the boy may have developed perseverance. He may have learned resiliency, and awareness to overcome challenges, and find solutions.
Therefore, one way to help your child develop resiliency is to have a discussion with him or her before they take on new challenges. Help them to discover the awareness of what they find easy, and what they find difficult. Allow them to make mistakes. Assist them to find solutions or a different strategy of learning that works!
Ask yourself, “Is there a support system that other kids, having the same challenges, are using”?
Teaching resiliency to your kids is a life-skill they’ll use over and over again. You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your children!
Thank you to adli-