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Resilience. One of the most important lifelong skills that you can ever possess. It is on my mind a lot these days, for a number of reasons.
At work, I’m assisting in the roll-out of an office-wide resilience program to assist staff better cope with change. It’s paramount to all organisations to cultivate a resilient, agile and flexible workforce. Change is everywhere, things don’t always go your way and decisions are not always right. You need to be able to come back from that and just get on with things.
Recognising that a specific course is required to impart these skills also highlights that many adults still haven’t mastered the ability to bounce back from disappointment, take risks and make confident decisions. All qualities that are so necessary in today’s stressful and demanding world.
With this in mind, I’m thankful that at school, one of the five keys to success is resilience, along with confidence, persistence, getting along and organisation. Resilience is acknowledged as consistently making the right choices, keeping your cool and staying positive. I was beyond proud last year when both my school aged children received awards for resilience. It was recognition of the amazing progress they had made in starting to overcome their fears and remaining upbeat in the face of them.
At home, we have always tried our best to instil resilience in our kids. This is even more important when you have kids with special needs. In the face of difference, disability and potential bullying, building resilience from a young age has been one of our top priorities to give them the tools they need to navigate life.
I liken it to taking out an insurance policy – investing in building self-esteem, developing confidence, creating a positive outlook, encouraging effective problem solving techniques and teaching how to make the right choice can yield huge dividends later on.

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So how do you actually go about building resilience in your children? Here are a few simple ways to start:

  1. Model resilient behaviour. When things don’t go your way, take a different approach. Don’t give up or get upset or lose hope. Show your kids what being resilient actually means.
  2. Praise effort. Being positive and recognising effort goes a long way to building healthy self-esteem and confidence in your kids. Show them that it matters that they keep trying, even if the first attempt is not a success.
  3. Help teach them to cope with disappointment. Life doesn’t always deliver on its promises. Helping kids appropriately handle disappointment in all its forms will go a long way to develop their natural resilience.
  4. Give them the chance to try and fail. It’s important that kids take risks and understand the consequences of their decisions. These situations can be used to identify what went wrong and to encourage them to try again.
  5. Get them involved in the home from an early age. Give them individual responsibilities and tasks to look after. Encourage them to be accountable and give them the chance to practice solving any problems that may arise.

From lifelong personal experience, resilience DOES matter. It really is important to make an effort to help your kids to develop resilience skills from an early age.
And, possibly even more importantly, it’s vital that we as adults develop and model these skills too.
What tips do you have for building resilience in your kids?
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Australian Scholarships Group is a not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider. Australian Scholarships Group has supported over 300,000 families offset the cost of education. But now Australian Scholarship Group is moving towards offering more than just education funds and has a wide range of resources, online tools and guides to support parents and nurture children in their educational journey to reach their full potential. Visit www.asg.com.au to discover member benefits or call 1800 648 945. More articles regarding education issues, development, family members and parenting available on www.asg.com.au/resources.
Disclaimer – I received monetary compensation in return for this post however the experiences and views shared are my own.

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