Having previously written about the importance of valuing the ‘whole child’ my mind shifts to how do we grow and nurture the citizens of the future? Let’s face it, it’s in our best interests as adults to get it right and prepare our children for life in modern Britain and supporting us through our retirement!
The National Trust once produced a list of 50 things that every child should do. The list includes things like climb a tree, make a mud pie, fly a kite, to name but a few. I wonder how many of us have fond memories of our childhood having probably completed at least half of the list? Unfortunately, Society has changed and for all sorts of reasons children nowadays do not always enjoy the same freedoms that we may have. However, please do look at the list, many things can be done as a family or in the safety of your garden.
Parenting and teaching are both demanding jobs! We are always making judgements about how our children should be instructed versus learn for themselves, be dependent on us versus stand on their own two feet, make decisions for them versus let them learn from their own mistakes.
Resilience - ‘The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness’ is perhaps one of the hardest character traits for us as adults to allow our children to develop. Every parent/teacher wants children to feel safe and happy. Standing back and letting children suffer the pain of learning through experience is difficult but a necessary step in their emotional development. In school we are constantly looking for ways to build resilience. This may be through messages shared in assembly, PSHE lessons and the classroom. The bedrock of our behaviour policy is to encourage children to solve problems together through discussion. This requires them to develop a moral understanding of right and wrong, actions and consequences and learning from mistakes.
How can you help to develop your childs resilience? Read on…
Bring resilience into your everyday language
Resilient parents focus on building children’s and young people’s strengths for the future, while helping them cope with the present difficulties and challenges they experience.
The key to promoting resilience lies in the language that parents use. My challenge for parents is to make resilience an integral part of your family’s proprietary language. You’ll know you have succeeded if your children as adults remind you, when they hear any complaints or whinges from you in your dotage, to ‘hang in there’, ‘this too will pass’ and ‘find the funny side’. Granted they may be phrases you don’t want to hear, but at least you know that you’ve drummed into your kids some important core messages that have stayed for life.
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