Resilience is Key


In a recent meeting, we were discussing the importance of developing resilience in our students. Dr. Kelly shared with us an interesting index of resilience capabilities from the Roffey Park Institute. Working through the various resilience capabilities caused me to reflect on how I can continue to develop resilience in my own life as a leader, as well as impact others to build up their own resilience.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, resilience is often defined as the “ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change and keep going in the face of adversity.” We can ask ourselves the following questions:

  • How do I adapt to stressful situations?
  • Am I able to recover quickly from adverse experiences?
  • Am I able to react positively to change?

The Roffery Park Resilience Capability Index (RCI) helps to assess ones’ own resilience capabilities across the following five domains:

  • Perspective
  • Purpose, values and strengths
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Physical energy
  • Connections

In self-reflection, I have found viewing situations through other peoples’ perspective as a critical aspect to accepting things I cannot change and to focus on those things I can change. I am thankful to be able to work with staff, students and parents in a caring, professional environment that supports my own beliefs about the importance of a solid educational foundation for all.

This type of reflection and a personal desire to further develop one’s own resilience is a positive starting point in training students to develop their own resilience. One key when adults assist kids in developing resilience is to remember that we cannot protect our children from all difficulties in life. Rather, we can provide them with tools and strategies to deal with and overcome the adversities and stress often present in daily living. This link lists 20 practical and powerful strategies to help children build resilience.

Pediatrician Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg has written “A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings.” Dr. Ginsburg identifies seven “C’s” of resilience that can help children recognize their abilities and inner resources, and provides strategies to help in their resilience development:

  • Competence—feel can handle a situation
  • Confidence—belief in own abilities
  • Connection—close relationships with family and a strong sense of security
  • Character—morals and values to know difference between right and wrong
  • Contribution—personal contribution can be source of purpose and motivation
  • Coping—cope with stress to overcome challenges
  • Control—control outcomes of decisions

Dr. Ginsburgs also adds that starting with unconditional loves seems to be the most important part of developing resiliency in children.

resilchartIt may seem overwhelming to know where to start in working with a child on developing resiliency. While there is no one process that is the same for every child, talking with the child during the normal course daily life is a great place to start. This infographic provides phrases based on daily life situations, that then are tied into effective resilience-building strategies.

I look forward to partnering with the school community to promote the development of resilience in our children at CDNIS.

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