Resilience is the ability to steer through serious life’s challenges and find ways to bounce back and to thrive: The capacity “to thrive in the face of adversity”
Experiencing adversity in some form is an inevitable part of our human experience. The current mental health crisis we’re experiencing in our youth, suggests however, that either the stressors on our kids are more than ever or our kids don’t have the skills to cope with them.
A SMH article from 2015 wrote: “There’s a strong argument that resiliency education is needed now more than ever before: that young people are uniquely exposed to a faster-paced society; the bombardment of technology, social media and persistent, aggressive marketing strategies; an increase in academic testing and exams, and more family breakdowns. Building resilience means learning skills that can increase their ability to manage and regulate their emotions and response to stress.” ¹
Resilience is not something we have or don’t have. We work on it throughout our lives. And we need to start as early as possible.
Teaching our kids how to cope with the ups and downs can set them up for good mental health now and in their future.
Evidence shows that resilience training for children can reduce mental health risk factors as well as emotional and behavioural problems, and that by cultivating the ability to “bounce back” from hardship, children learn to live happy, productive lives. Learning resilience skills helps our kids learn how to identify, articulate, differentiate and manage their own feelings as well as become more empathetic and sensitive to the feelings of others. ¹
Its also been shown that by building childrens’ resilience early in their lives, we can better prepare them to handle past and future trauma and grow into healthy adults. ²
Outcomes of resilience education include improved problem-solving skills, a more optimistic outlook, the ability to set realistic, achievable goals, a healthy sense of independence, social competency and enhanced academic performance. Resiliency in schools has also been found to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, bullying, substance use and aggressive, or reckless behaviour.
Helping our kids build resilience is something that we can do to give our children every chance at thriving. We offer in-school programmes and workshops /seminars for parents /care-givers.
¹ “Resilience classes aim to improve mental health of a generation” Colleen Ricci, SMH OCTOBER 25 2015
² “Building resilience early in life can help children cope with trauma” Shanta R Dube, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, May 25, 2017