Resilience building starts sooner rather than later
We start with the premise that building resilience ‘sooner rather than later’ is best when we look at developing strong individuals for the future. We will also agree that parents and schools are the best arena in which we can develop and enhance a child’s abilities at an early age.
I will presume that we all agree that the idea of combined effort and starting early is embraced by all; however the pathway is curvy and arduous. Societal messages continuously espouse that health, mental wellbeing, high achievement levels and success for everyone should be our aim. These are all great messages: how do we get there? Research is showing us that children today could improve their resilience as they do not take risks easily and tend to look for safety nets. Confidence and optimism is not always the ‘go to’ for many.
Resilience is built every day
We know that we need to develop strong personal qualities for future success. Future leaders and society members, specifically the children of this century, will need to be flexible, confident, brave and search for challenges; they will need to strive for excellence and not perfection. Making mistakes and looking for alternative solutions will be the best way to move forward using an enquiring mind. Collaborating and using help from our family, colleagues, friends and peers and leveraging their abilities will increase own capacity and success.
It then stands to reason that providing children with choices (appropriate for age and capability), providing ways to be responsible for own actions; allowing consequences to determine success or failure in decision making; trusting our children to think for themselves and find alternative solutions to own problems is most definitely a good start in building the adult of tomorrow. Being a parent or teacher that does for the child what they are more than capable of doing on their own is not supporting a child even if it seems like it is. It teaches instead learned helplessness.
“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
Tips for today:
- Start early – infancy
- Be aware of what your child can do on their own
- Let them fail and help them find solutions to repair the problem
- Never fight the battle they can manage
- Allow your child to be sad as well as happy