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Bouncing back

I have attended many information evenings/days at San Clemente over the past fourteen years and most parents have expressed to me that they hope their child leaves high school as a confident, mature, happy and resilient individual. So what is resilience? Resilience is not a trait that people are born with. It is the process of learning to “bounce back” from adversity, trauma, tragedy and other significant sources of stress. Resilience involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed. Our students resilience has been truly tested so far this year with online learning and adjusting to life with Covid 19 restrictions. Whilst this resilience has impressed me, we can all continue to build and strengthen our resilience.

I read an article once titled “10 Ways to Build Resilience”. It stated that a combination of factors contribute to resilience:

  • The capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out
  • A positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities
  • Skills in communication and problem solving
  • The capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses

I have always believed that developing resilience in children is the combined responsibility of parents, family members and of course teachers. Below is a list of “10 Ways to Build Resilience” that was mentioned in the article.

  1. Make Connections. Good relationships with family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you strengthens resilience.
  2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can’t stop highly stressful events, but you can change how you interpret and respond to events. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better.
  3. Accept that change is a part of living. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.
  4. Move towards your goals. Develop realistic goals. Do something regularly - even if it seems like a small accomplishment - that enables you to move forward towards your goals.
  5. Take decisive actions. Act on adverse situations as much as you can, rather than detaching completely from problems and wishing they would just go away.
  6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss.
  7. Nurture a positive view of yourself. Develop confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.
  8. Keep things in perspective. Avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
  9. Maintain a hopeful outlook. An optimistic outlook enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life.
  10. Take care of yourself. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly.

While these tips provide a useful starting tip, they are not gospel. It is important to identify what will work best for your child and even yourself.

Patrick Doyle, Year 7 Coordinator, Wellbeing