A question I’m asked often by parents and teachers is how can they develop resiliency in children and teens? While there is a lot of research available and opinions of others. Here are few I use:
1. Develop a Sense of Identity – Who am I? What is my family story/history? Helps us to also develop our moral rule book. Who am I? Is a question I often find myself still reflecting upon. So this is a life long question and a self-discovery quest. I have spent endless hours on Ancestry developing our family tree and history all the way back to 1200’s. Coming from an estranged family background and in the days where we do not discuss things fully this Ancestry, the quest has been an amazing self-discovery task that has opened up opportunities to talk with my family about some of the stories and busting some myths.
2. Develop a Sense of Purpose – set goals (Short term, medium term and long term), learning that failure is a part of success by exposing yourself to achieve your goals. Giving things a go even if you crash. Create a bucket list.
3. Give things a go (there is no such thing as can’t) – even if you do not first succeed try try again. Through trying we are learning new things and learning to adapt to the situation so we can succeed.
3. Being Flexible – while still holding onto your values from your rule book yet being flexible enough to sit back and reflect on the situation and reassess your position.
4. Self-control – being able to say no to the third piece of cake or not snapping back when you are angry. Stepping back for a moment to think and reflect before taking action and/or reacting to a situation.
5. Positive mindsets – whilst life is not always rosy and has many up’s and downs spend the time to reflect on the positive aspect of the situation. Keeping our minds in the negative creates a downward spiral of unhappiness and reduces resiliency. However, self-reflection and evaluation of a situation help us to learn how to improve and grow. Finding the silver lining and giving thanks to people. Being grateful for our experiences and the opportunities to learn and grow.
6. Spend time on the activities that make you happy with the people you enjoy spending time with. Make sure this includes time outside with nature. Spending time outside allows us to explore and go on adventures. I would say this is number one for me because when I go camping it is like a magic reset button that allows my worries to fly away with the wind and my mind unwinds.
7. Take the time to help others in need. Charity work and volunteering are very rewarding experiences that have proven not only to improve the lives of others in need, through random acts of kindness but also improves your own sense of worth and wellbeing. Volunteering and supporting your community helps to develop the community and your sense of connection with your community. Find a cause that rings true to your beliefs and volunteer your time to support your community.
8. Connecting – feeling a sense of connection with yourself and others is through taking the time to do all of the above. Making time to connect with friends in person. Taking time out to connect with yourself in nature without gadgets. And being kind to others and committing your time to help people. Helps you to develop a sense of purpose and identity of who you are and your beliefs.