As an educator, I often engage in conversations with students, teachers and parents about building personal resilience. Resilience is essentially the ability to find inner strength to overcome the most challenging of obstacles. While some people are inherently resilient, others can become victims who make excuses for why they can’t instead of just getting on and doing it.
Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has identified four factors that influence how well we bounce: temperament, attuned caregiving, healthy attachments and opportunities for practice.
Temperament is determined by genetics and optimal conditions and quality nutrition in the womb “environment”.
A child’s ability to cope with stress is mostly shaped by parents and caregivers. Being calm makes a child feel safe while being anxious instils fear. Children with poor bonding to a primary caregiver can be less resilient.
The child’s ability to connect with people provides the necessary support measures in good times and bad. Children with few emotional connections are susceptible to developing dysfunctional styles of coping which can include aggression, impulsiveness and depression.
Practising resilience is paramount to experiencing success. If we encourage children to hone motor, emotional, social and cognitive skills, they will taste success. Ultimately, resilience requires hope and hope is intertwined with feeling special. The child who is capable of thinking that things will be better, that the bad feelings and situation will improve, will be resilient.
(Taken from a Courier Mail Article 26/05/2013)
Tracey Sharpe - Deputy Principal