Children and resilience
Together with parents, we share responsibility for encouraging children to develop a sense of purpose and in building resilience.
Resilience is the happy knack of being able to bungy jump through the pitfalls of life. Even when hardship and adversity arise, it is as if the person has an elasticised rope around that helps them to rebound when things get low and to maintain their sense of who they are as a person. (Andrew Fuller, 1998)
Experiences that foster resilience occur when teachers provide children with ample opportunities to develop and practise behaviours to promote resilience. At Doncaster Primary School we provide weekly, if not daily opportunities to build upon their own levels of resilience through our own ‘Living the Values Program‘. Each child is offered the opportunity to express their understandings of the social situations in which they are engaged, and to reflect on the instances that take place where their resilience may be tested, to grow and develop in a positive way from these experiences.
The Fifteen Elements of Resilience
To overcome adversities, children draw from three sources of resilience features labelled:
I HAVE, I AM, I CAN. What they draw from each of the three sources may be described as follows:
* People around me I trust and who love me, no matter what
* People who set limits for me so I know when to stop before there is danger or trouble
* People who show me how to do things right by the way they do things
* People who want me to learn to do things on my own
* People who help me when I am sick, in danger or need to learn
* A person people can like and love
* Glad to do nice things for others and show my concern
* Respectful of myself and others
* Willing to be responsible for what I do
* Sure things will be all right
* Talk to others about things that frighten me or bother me
* Find ways to solve problems that I face
* Control myself when I feel like doing something not right or dangerous
* Figure out when it is a good time to talk to someone or to take action
* Find someone to help me when I need it
(Edith Grotberg, 1995)
Children need to become resilient to overcome the many adversities they face and will face in life and they cannot do it alone. They need adults who know how to promote resilience and are, indeed, becoming more resilient themselves.
At Doncaster Primary School, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer services and professionals at every level, who are more than happy to facilitate this required partnership and in turn, student growth.