Resilience - don't let things get you down

What is it?

Imagine you have each end of a piece of elastic in your hands.Pull your hands apart and the elastic stretches. Let go of one end and the elastic bounces back to its original size. That is resilience. (say re-zil-i-ens) For people resilience means that whatever bad times you go through you can always bounce back again and be yourself.

What helps you to become resilient?

To be a resilient person you need to feel good about yourself. As a kid there are three areas where you spend your time – home, school and anywhere else! The most important areas for children are home and school.

At home

  • Do I feel safe at home?
  • Do I feel loved and cared for?
  • Does my family encourage me to do my best?
  • If there is a problem, do we talk things over?
  • Do I have chores to do which help the family?
  • Are there easy-to-understand rules and consequences (what will happen if the rules are broken)?
  • Is exercise a part of my day?
  • Do I feel happy at home?
  • Do people listen to me?
  • Do I feel relaxed at home?
  • Do I feel supported at home?
  • Do I spend time with all of the family?
  • Do family members listen to each other even if they don’t agree?
  • Does my family do things together outside the home?

At school

  • Do I feel safe at school?
  • Am I encouraged to do my best?
  • If there is a problem, am I able to talk things over?
  • Are school rules simple and easy to understand?
  • Are consequences for inappropriate behaviour clear and fair?
  • Do I learn how to set realistic goals for myself?
  • Do I feel supported?
  • Do I feel happy?
  • Do I get positive feedback on my work?
  • Am I encouraged to take on a leadership role in the school? [Eg Student Council, canteen monitor, environment group.]
  • Do I get the chance to work with different groups of people?
  • Do I know what to do if I am being bullied or hurt?
  • Am I encouraged to try new things?
  • Is everyone encouraged to make positive comments, with no put-downs?
  • Am I encouraged to follow my interests?
  • Do I get to participate in decision-making in the class and the school?
  • Can I ask for and get extra help if I need it?
  • Am I encouraged to make good choices?

Are you resilient?

If you answered yes to most of the questions about your home and your school, then you are well on the way to becoming a resilient person. Why? Because you have people to love and support you, people who encourage you and people who are there for you when you need help or comfort.

“Everyone seems to be so busy these days. There are so many things that kids can do, that sometimes kids don’t get enough sleep. If things are not going well in your life it is very important that you do sleep for long enough to give your body and mind time to rest and relax. You will find that the saying “things will look better in the morning” is often true. Things may not be how you would like them to be in the morning, but you will have had enough rest to be able to cope. Your resilience will see you through until the better times arrive again.”

Source: Kids Health – Dr Kate Says.