It’s that time of year again. Penciled are sharpened, backpacks are clean and empty, and you are about to send your child or children off to school for either the first or umpteenth time. Every year around this time, I talk with my clients, their parents, and even my own children about the things they want to be intentional about for the upcoming school year. Take a moment and reflect – What goals do you as a child, adolescent or parent want to accomplish this year– Increased organization, better grades or maybe just a peaceful school year? While all of these aspects of school and life are quite important, they require an awful lot of hard work and at times can be difficult and stressful to manage in our day to day. In this day and age, our children and adolescent face several stressors: grades, friends, parents, bullying, over scheduling, social media, school shootings, 24 hour news cycle etc. So how do we foster resilience or the ability to bounce back and recover from adversity in life in our children and adolescents?
Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg with Martha Jablow in their book Building Resilience in Children and Teens identify resilience as “giving kids roots and wings” in their book subtitle. At the core of this philosophy is the idea that the important adults, whether as a parent, aunt, grandparent, mentor, teacher or coach, affect a child’s resilience. As parents, caregivers and loving adults we offer unconditional love and create security, we set and encourage our children to meet our expectations for better or worse, and we model behaviors on how to meet these expectations and manage the challenges along the way because according to Ginsberg and Jablow, (2011)“children watch what we do much more than they listen to what we say” (p.22).
Ginsberg and Jablow (2011) identify seven crucial C’s as the “ingredients of resilience”
Ginsberg, K.R. & Jablow, M.M. (2011). Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings (2nd ed.). Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.