Hands up if you run a business. How often is your staff absent from work because of a cold or fever? Ever notice that this happens at crunch time? You, on the other hand… how often do you feel like crap but brave it to work to accomplish the million and one tasks on your to do list? If you do, you’re probably more resilient than you think. Hooray!
The reality is that building resilience in kids isn’t just cute and merely a good idea. Instead, it’s completely necessary if you want these same kids to have a competitive edge on life and yes, be successful. Are you going to be OK with your kids folding when the pressure rises? Or backing out of a deal because the terms have been tweaked?
Building resilience in kids is important because:
1. It teaches them how to bounce back
I had a kid with epilepsy once enrolled in preschool. He had an attack one Monday morning at 10:30 am and by 1:15 pm he was playing football with Coach. Is his Mom a wicked Cruella-Deville? No! But what my team and other parents and kids realized that day is that resilient kids know how to bounce back. Yes he went to the doctor and of course I didn’t send him outside to have another attack. But Mom’s and Doc’s rationale were that he was ok to continue his normal routine and further to that, he’s going to always have similar setbacks. The sooner he learns to deal with them, the better for him.
Now, you know you’re gonna want your child to be able to get up, dust himself off and move forward. Don’t you? So keep reading.
2. It reminds kids that life isn’t perfect.
Too often we shelter our kids and want to protect them from the cold and harsh realities of life. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re maternal by instinct. That’s what parenting and even child rearing is about. But what happens when Mummy isn’t there to protect Matt Matt anymore? How’s he going to learn to fend for himself when she’s always been there to steer him in the right direction each time the vultures and witches descend? Being resilient encourages kids to find the elasticity within themselves and helps them move coyly from one situation to another. A trait that many persons in today’s society don’t have and boy don’t we hear about how unjust life is almost always from these non-resilient adults?
Who wants their kids to be one of those miserable old poops?
Perfect. Just as I thought. Moving along.
3. It helps drive passion
Each of us as human beings is attracted to something. Once we find out what that is, we literally eat, sleep and breathe it. We are relentless in our pursuit towards maintaining it, improving it and sharing it with the world. Resilience gives us an opportunity to really drive our passion.
Look at it this way. No matter what happens, being resilient gives you the extra nudge needed to keep your passion alive and going. It literally gives you the extra strength to persevere even when you don’t feel like. And the truth is that sometimes we need to carry on. Being resilient allows this to happen: to keep moving.
Ask Richard Branson if you don’t believe me.
And in so moving…
4. It produces a domino effect of further resilience
Going back to my story about the preschooler. After the story erupted we had a few other moms who were there and came early to pick up because their kids had stuffy noses, etc. But after seeing my boy on the football field and learning of his seizure a few hours prior, no one left the field or school early. That’s the sort of domino effect I’m talking about. They literally thought that if he can tough it out so can their kids.
And just like that resilience is contagious. One person sees another demonstrating it and he becomes more inclined to show similar behaviors. Monkey see monkey do. And this is repeated by other monkeys.
5. It makes success so much sweeter
Today’s world changes non-stop. What’s here today and a success now, changes in the blink of an eye. As parents and educators, it’s our job to encourage children to be mentally ready for the constant instability that awaits them.
It really isn’t hard to promote resilience. The question is, are you resilient enough to encourage resilience? Just in case you doubt yourself think long and hard about the kids you want to raise.