While we may not be able to overcome challenges that come with the current pandemic, we can model skills to help our children cope with stress and adversity. Coming out of this pandemic with life-long skills is not only help them achieve their long-term goals but also helps them solve problems independently.
One key skill that is both challenging yet important to develop is Resilience.
It is our ability to bounce back from stress, failure, challenges, or adversity. It’s not something we either have or don’t, it’s a skill that we all can develop, especially so for our children as they grow. Behaviours, thoughts and actions can be learned over time making them braver, more curious and more adaptable.
And here are five resilience lessons that we can guide our young adventurers as they sail the seas of adversity:
1. Talk about it
While navigating through these unprecedented times, it is important to communicate with our children. Be open to talking about their emotions. Listening to their feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness is a good first step. Don’t forget to share your own feelings too, without discounting any of theirs. Let them know what they are feeling is valid and that you feel it too. Remind them that they are not alone and that we will get through this together as a family.
One sure-fire way to create an atmosphere of openness is through daily dinner conversations. Why not download our complimentary month-long student diary? It contains a conversation starter, quotes and a to-do list all in one!
2. Ask for Help
Children often think that being strong means working on it alone. While working on something individually helps to develop independence, our children should also know and be reminded that it is perfectly okay to ask for help.
As John C Maxwell sums it up perfectly:
Why not kick start this by calling or video conferencing with family members and friends? Or you may also try out our brand-new Virtual Student Care service. This also gives you some spare time to get work done from home!
3. Build Consistent routines
Working from home with your child beside you for home-based learning can be very daunting. However, it is not totally impossible when there is a consistent routine to adhere to.
Routines are known to be comforting to children, especially for the younger ones. It is still not too late to start a new home routine. Our timetable template is readily available to guide you and your child.
Do remember, that with schedules and routines only serves as guides and that positive reinforcement is the best way to reinforce the behaviour.
4. Encourage mindfulness
With the timetable in place, remember to include time for restoration and recreation. Encourage our children to take a break, look out the window, or have a quiet moment to simply breathe in between work.
Here is a video that was released on our Home Engagement Platform for our Student Care parents during the start of the school closure.
Mindfulness helps children refocus their energies resulting in increased self-control and reduced anxiety and stress. If you are feeling stressed, maybe you can take some time to focus as well.
Apart from releasing happy hormones, exercising helps to strengthen the brain. With regular physical activity, we “teach” our stress-response system to recover more efficiently, reducing stress and anxiety, in turn, building resilience.
Get your kids moving by exercising together, turning it into a fun family activity. After all, kids learn better by example. Some of our favourite links (free on YouTube!) are Cosmic Kids for yoga, and KIDZ BOP incorporating latest music hits with dance moves for strength and cardio warmups.
With COVID-19, school closure and social distancing will be the new norm. Living with uncertainty is not a walk in the park, but we as parents can help our children gain resilience through this period of time.