We continue to discuss Resilience, and the concept of BOUNCE-ing BACK in our Junior School Assemblies. Every Prep-Year 6 boy has received a rubber ball as a reminder of the Acronym Bounce Back, as listed below. I love Andrew Fuller’s definition of Resilience; “…the happy knack of being able to bungy jump through life. When the inevitable pitfalls and setbacks of life occur, it is as if you have an elasticised rope around your middle that helps you to bounce back from hard times.”
Displaying Resilience doesn’t mean that children can’t be emotional, or shouldn’t show sadness…far from it. But it is the ability to cope and recover, or Bounce back, in the face of adversity. For some children, this may be when they leave their PE Clothes at home, or forget their homework, or they drop their bucket of chips. Being able to move forward, especially after events that are more likely to be ‘everyday’ occurrences, is so important for young children
Andrew has 10 Top Tips for creating Resilient Families, 5 of which I list below:
The sense of belonging we have is the strongest antidote we know of for self-harm, depression and drug abuse and it’s built on our sense of belonging. Children are most resilient when they have three types of belonging:
- A sense of being part of a family
- Having different friendships to belong to
- Having an adult outside their family who connects with them.
Have some mooch time
Find some time each week just to be at home without anything structured happening. Quiet times allow children to develop creativity and ingenuity.
Rediscover some family rituals
Family rituals are strong predictors of resilience. It doesn’t matter whether it is the family walk after dinner, the Sunday roast, the Friday night pizza or the Saturday morning clean up- rituals are highly protective. The best rituals often cost nothing. These are the activities you hope that later on your children will reminisce and say “Mum always made sure we did.” or Dad always made sure we did.”
Spontaneity and curiosity
Spontaneity and curiosity are the building blocks of good mental health. You cannot tell someone how to have better mental health and you can’t give it to them by getting them to read a book. So the really hard message here is that if you want to raise your children to have mentally healthy lives you are going to have to have a good time yourself. If you want your children to succeed you need to show them that success is worth having.
Love kids for their differences
When families’ function well people are allowed to be different and to be loved for those differences. We all know that children take on different roles. A father of three said, ”It’s as if they have a planning meeting once a year and say ‘ you be the good kid, I’ll be the sick kid and the other one can be the trouble-maker’! And then just when you think you’ve got it figured out they change roles again”. Having children who are strongly individual and who have a sense of who they are, is a sign of good parenting. The problem may, of course, be that they will then express their independent spirit in ways that you don’t like. The ideal is a mix between someone who preserves their own uniqueness and is able to work with others without becoming dictated to by them. Someone who has their own independent nature but is comfortable enough with themselves to allow inter-dependence.
Please go to Andrew’s page for the remaining top ten tips. http://andrewfuller.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/ten-resilience-hints.pdf