Bouncing back may be one of the best lessons you ever have! Resilience can be a dynamic quality and can be developed over time and of course, we all need resilience to get through life with more ease.
Resilient people look for solutions, they see things differently and look for the lessons in the adversity. If we can teach kids that they can learn how to bounce back, it means they are better equipped to cope with stress and change as they go through life.
“Resilient children are better equipped to resist stress and adversity, cope with change and uncertainty, and to recover faster and more completely from traumatic events or episodes.” Balckburn & Newman, 2002″
Promoting resilience in school or at home, can; lessen behavioural problems and promote well-being, it can give a sense of belonging, and increase enjoyment and achievement.
As a teacher, it’s always an admirable moment to watch the child who has an unlucky mishap, quickly move on from their dilemma and shake it off! So how do we encourage resilience and this shaking it off attitude in children?
Lessons in resilience!
- Set up games to problem solve, where maybe the rules change and adapting is key to working out the problem.
- Look out for role models and stories about inspirational people who have good coping skills or strategies. A favourite sports personality who have suffered a setback, or injury and bounced back. Look at lives of inspiring people who have turned adversity into success!
- Be silly and learn to laugh off mistakes! Enjoy a good belly laugh with children when things go wrong or the unexpected happens. Obviously, this needs some sensitivity and can only be done in certain situations, but certainly encourage seeing the funny side of adversity!
- Look for opportunities and be optimistic when things go wrong! Try a game of ‘Well if that hadn’t happened…” Turning things around, get creative, accentuate the positive and ignore the negative as much as possible. Teach them the value of not dwelling for too long and spoiling other opportunities, that could be just around the corner.
- Teach children to look at a problem in a new way. Are there any advantages in not getting what you want?
- Have some awareness and empathy for others? Have other people had a worse day? Worse situations to cope with? Talk about how to help others who have worse things to deal with.
- Give children a chance to discuss their feelings about situations which may have affected them. Give them a chance to discuss with their peers about how they felt in different situations. (Circle times, class, family debates, discuss scenarios etc) Introduce new emotional language. (dignity, humble, respect, belonging, empathy, self-worth, self-esteem, unsettled, frazzled, ridiculed, pressured, resilient)
- Teach mindfulness, staying in the moment! Keep calm keep in the moment and let go of thoughts that set you back.
When we teach children to be more resilient, we give them more coping skills, more opportunities to grow, and a better knowledge of themselves and the world around them!