As mentioned in our School Newsletter, attending school camp with Stage 2 again highlighted the great variation in the levels of resilience amongst our students. It reminded me of something I read last year in another school’s newsletter about seven things parents do that ‘rob their child’ of their resilience.
The ideas were from Michael Grose – a leading parental educator in Australia. I would be really interested in your thoughts.
Robber # 1:
Fight all their battles for them.
Nothing wrong with going into bat when kids struggle or meet with difficulty inside or outside school, but make sure this is the last resort, not the first option.Fight all their battles for them
Resilience notion # 1: Give kids the opportunity to develop their own resourcefulness.
Robber # 2:
Make their problem, your problem
Sometimes parents can take too much responsibility for issues that are really up to children to work out or decide. Here’s a clue if you are wondering what I am talking about; a jumper is something a mother puts on her son when she is cold!
Resilience notion # 2 Make their problem, their problem.
Robber # 3:
Give kids too much voice
In this era of giving children a voice it is easy to go overboard and allow them too much of a say in what happens to them. Kids often take the easy option to avoid hard or unpleasant situations.
Resilience notion # 3: Make decisions for kids and expect them to adjust and cope.
Robber # 4:
Put unrealistic or relentless pressure on kids to perform
Expectations about success and achievement are important. Too low and kids will meet them. Too high and kids can give up. Too much and kids can experience anxiety.
Resilience notion # 4: Keep expectations in line with children’s abilities and don’t put excessive pressure on them.
Robber # 5:
Let kids give in too easily
Resilient learners link success with effort. They don’t give up because they don’t like a teacher or when confronted with multi-step or more complex activities. Similarly they don’t bail out of a sporting team half way through the season because the team is not winning or they are not enjoying it.
Resilience notion # 5: Encourage kids to complete what they have started even if the results aren’t perfect.
Robber # 6:
Neglect to develop independence
Don’t wait until they are teenagers to develop the skills of independent living. Start early and promote a broad skills set so that they can look after themselves if you are not around.
Resilience notion # 6: Don’t routinely do for kids what they can do for themselves.
Robber # 7:
Rescue kids from challenging or stretch situations
There are many times kids are put in situations that are outside their comfort zones for a time. For instance, giving a talk, singing at the school concert or going on school camp may be challenges for some kids. They are all situations that kids usually cope with so show your confidence in them and skill them up rather than opt for avoidance.
Resilience notion # 7: Overcoming challenges enables kids to grow and improve.