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Resilience and why it really isn’t just a buzz word

Resilience is a word that is often used in the work I do, I even support parents in supporting children and young people to build more resilience.

The question that I often ask myself is, how did we get here?

Why have we become so adverse to risk taking and the uncomfortableness of needing to work stuff out?

 

Long gone are the days when children and YP had the freedom to go out and play all day in their local area and come back at teatime.


Long gone are the days when you were given the responsibility to walk yourself to school, come home for lunch and walk yourself back in the afternoon. 


Playing in the park means a thousand mum and dad eyes on your every move, reminding you to be careful, stopping you from going to the highest slide or taking that leap over that massive boulder.


Be careful, don’t take risks, don’t be mean, don’t touch that, don’t play with that.


The cries from over concerned parents not wanting their precious ones to get hurt or feel any discomfort.


Into adolescents and we fetch and carry our little ones, arranging play dates, managing after school clubs and never leaving our young people alone.


They learn to rely on us for every aspect of their day to day lives and, in some ways, rightly so, we do need to keep them safe. However, in no other time has it been that YP are so heavily reliant on their parents or carers.


We have, what we have created, disempowered, and frightened individuals, unsure of how to make the basic of decisions and choices for themselves. 


Resilience comes from experiencing adversity, difficult or uncomfortable situations and finding solutions and ways out. 


If this doesn’t happen in abundance, then we are unable to access this learnt skill, the more we practice, the better we become.

 

Here are a few ways we can support our children and young people to be more resilient:

 

  • Maintain a sense of perspective. Ask yourself, “How big is this problem really?” and “What do I need to do?” Remember not to blow things out of proportion or catastrophise, remind yourself of the good in your life and that things really will change

  • Recognise that you have a choice in how you handle challenges. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can choose how you respond. You can choose to react to changes and problems with hope and a positive attitude.rt.

  • Accept change. Change and uncertainty are part of life. When you accept this, you’ll be better able to react to change with flexibility.

  • Anticipate challenges by focusing on the positive ways in which you can meet them rather than possible negative outcomes. This will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

  • Learn how to calm yourself. When you feel yourself reacting to a challenge with escalating stress and anxiety, take steps to calm yourself (deep breathing, replacing negative thoughts).

  • Overcome your fear. All of us feel fear, especially when we’re faced with a change. But fear can hold us back from new experiences and opportunities for growth. If you are faced with a challenge that feels scary or overwhelming, start with the simplest thing you can do that takes you in the direction you want to go. Ask yourself, “What’s the smallest thing I can do to get started?” Once you’ve thought about it, do it.

  • Let go of your anger. A difficult challenge can cause us to feel angry and upset. These feelings are normal, but they won’t help us move forward. Work through your anger and try to let go of negative feelings by writing about them or talking with a trusted friend.

  • Take action. Avoid dwelling on problems. Focus on solutions instead. Figure out what you can do and then do it, one step at a time.

  • Laugh. Even when things seem to be falling apart around you, try to find time to smile and laugh. It’s very healing and it will help you forget your worries for a few moments.

  • Rent a movie that makes you laugh or spend time with a friend with a good sense of humour.

 

 

"What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him."

 VIKTOR FRANKL



What you don't heal you pass on.

Be well,

Justine


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