R for Resilience

How can you make your child more resilient?

Resilience in children is a big issue these days. With so much already on their plates, parents ask why is resilience important for their children. And are schools doing enough teaching of resilience in early childhood. It would appear not. They’re constrained by the academic system which is set up to focus on academic results.

This article and video is all about strengthening your child’s resilience. Making them more resilient so they can bounce back from setbacks. Rise to challenges. Take the learning and move on.

It's about resilience. And perhaps it's not quite about making your child more resilient. Because, you see, most people have got a different view about resilience to my view on resilience. So what do I mean by resilient? I've got two meanings. I think we're going to start with one, move on to them. 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back. This is a little rubber ball that I use as a prop, because some of you are more visual and you appreciate seeing something that bounces back, seeing something rather than me just talking at you. Okay. Resilience, the ability to bounce back. What's that got to do with kids? Well, first off, I don't it's actually a skill. I think it's something that we're all born with. 

Why do I think I've been about patronising? I don't know. I'm just trying to be pretty clear about what I what I mean. And I guess sometimes those have come across as patronising. I hope not. Enough of the fluff.

Let me get straight to the point. You and your child and me and every single one of us learn to walk by falling over, getting up and going again. That's how we learn to work. We learn to walk by climbing up, pushing up, climbing up on the side of a bed or sofa. Taking some stops falling over, getting up, going again. Now that is bouncing back. And we did that naturally. 

We did not need a speaker or trainer coach or whatever, whatever you call me- I call myself a children's happiness expert. Hey, what you see me as, a teacher, whoever, you didn't need anybody, anybody at all, to teach you how to do that. And you didn't need to go on a course to learn how to walk. You took a few faulty steps. You bounce back and you kept going because there was somewhere that you wanted to get to. And it seemed like a good idea. Everybody else around you was walking. So you thought that I want to deal with that, I want to be one of those walking people. And off we go. I think you wanted to be one of those walking people. 

You wanted to be a grown up and you wanted to get started there. Maybe there was some jelly and ice cream at the other room that you wanted to get. It seemed like a good idea. And so bouncing back is that, it's falling over and getting back up again and going again. So you did it naturally. Most people think resilience is like a muscle. You got to be trained. Yeah. So you train like a muscle. So you go to the gym, you go to your home, because you can't go to the gym at the moment because obviously, you build up that muscle. Now there isn't natural muscles there, but it has to it has to be developed and worked on and you come out to the big boys, bodybuilders or whatever, you know. But that's a muscle, that's something that has to be worked out. 

Resilience isn't like that because it’s how you learn to walk. So it's bouncing back, bouncing back from setbacks, dusting yourself often doing it again. However, what happens when you've seen the child do this? See this a few times. The child falls over. Child hits the deck and there's no tension started. There's no tears of yet. As the child looks around, and then they see the adults concern about the fact that they've fallen over and they might have hurt themselves. And then when they see that concern, they get concerned and the tears start. So that fear of what might have happened when we fall over, we pick that up. We pick that up from the world around us. And that kind of starts to eat away at the resilience that we had naturally. 

See, we weren't bothered about the fact that we fall over. It was somebody around us that was worried about what might happen, what might have happened. Now we're fall over and landed on our bums. Okay, so that's what I mean by resilience. The first thing I mean by resilience, it's an actual thing in a muscle. 

Second thing about resilience, I think about resilience as bouncing back, rising higher than bullying. So some people take bullying more personally than others. What's the difference? Well, it's like a resilience scale. So it's a scale from low to high. And the more resilient you are, the less what other people say bothers you. So my work is all about getting you and deal kids higher up that scale. 

What does that mean? So what Simon, what does that mean? Well, the thing that always comes back to my mind on this is an event that happened six and a half years ago now when a little girl called Alex told me. She was in a class of 30 kids and at the end of that 40 minute workshop, two minutes about bullying, talking about my story being bullied, being a bit vulnerable with the kids.

Alex told me how what she'd learned that afternoon meant that she could go back to dance class. So she had been empowered. Her resilience had gone from there, to there, and that hiking her resilience had led her to a new decision that she could go back to dance class where she'd stopped going because she was being bullied. She'd been bullied for being too good at dancing. Not like I got bullied for being a rubbish scout and not being very practical. So she got bullied for being too good. The other kids were jealous and she stopped going. She'd had a leap in her resilience. 

What would that be like? What would that be like if every child in the world had that leap in resilience, so that bullies they could rise above, bounce above bullying and bullying just didn't upset them anymore. Wow. That's why I keep doing what I do. Because resilience, we all need it. And the earlier we can kind of uncover it or discover it or realise how resilient we are, the less stuff can knock us off course. 

Simon Benn Children's Happiness Expert

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