Building Resilience In Our Children
It is not about throwing a child into a situation that makes him/her swim or sink, rather teaching them skills systematically on how to cope with tricky situation, reframe it, so that it gives them strength to deal with it
Resilience is about 3 things: bouncing back quickly after an adversity, not being (emotionally) affected by the adversity to a huge extent and when we're going through hell, to just keep going.
This is why kids need to:
1. believe that they are capable of changing
2. develop persistence
3. learn optimistic thinking (i'm ok, bad things don't last, it won't affect all aspects of my life, i.e. all or nothing thinking)
4. know how to manage their emotions
Pessimistic children believe a bad situation will ‘last forever’, but it’s important they realise that if you put effort in, you can change the situation.
Jolanta has advice on giving children feedback:
Parents can influence their children's thinking by showing them how to react to a situation. e.g. when they feel blue, letting them know that they can change their mood if they do something. If they catastrophise saying that things will always be bad - show them examples of how they have changed over time.
Growth vs Fixed mindset: VERY important (this is what the Irish Times article was mainly about). Fixed mindset makes kids think that they can't change, makes them seek approval from people around them. Fixed mindset kids keep focusing on proving to others that they are good, they are focused on outcomes, not learning how to do something right. This may result in developing depression, shying away from challenges, and lying!!!!!
In an experiment, children were put into either fixed or growth mindset. Those in fixed mindset, didn't enjoy the challenge, performed worse than growth kids and 40% of them lied about their outcome to the examiner vs only 1% of the growth mindset children.
Advice for giving a child feedback – praise the process – the effort and strategy – not the person. They’ll learn that when things go wrong, they don’t blame themselves unduly.
Jolanta is a positive psychologist, and she has trained herself to be optimistic, she's written a book on this before and tomorrow she will speak at the annual conference of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors and she has just been appointed as a global representative of the International Positive Education Network.
For more infomation on Jolanta, you can visit her website.