Resilience is a vital skill for all young people to possess. It refers to their ability to cope and adapt in situations when confronted with challenges such as adversity, trauma, tragedy, or even stress. Resilience is essential to mental health and wellbeing as part of students' journey to adulthood, and can be learned from an early age through the support of an adult role model.
Being resilient does not mean your child will not experience any difficulties, but it will better equip them to manage those situations. Over-protective parenting, or as Dr Michael Carr-Gregg describes it, "clearing the boulders off the runway" - can be unhelpful in building resilience. Although this may be a natural instinct, potentially experiencing failure or discomfort is all part of the process. This is particularly relevant now as many students are preparing for examinations and are experiencing a natural and healthy nervousness. Encouraging young people to take healthy risks will help them trust their capacity to deal with uncomfortable situations and increase their capacity for courage.
Along with resilience, the ability to be adaptable is also a crucial life skill, as explained by Andrea Downie, co-founder and director of Project Thrive:
"Research shows that by teaching adaptability, it adjusts our emotional, cognitive and behavioural responses to uncertainty or change which is extremely powerful. Adaptable people have greater life satisfaction, greater purpose and overall, feel better about themselves."
Staff at Siena College work proactively to support the individual needs of all students and to build resilience alongside their social and emotional capacity. Our Wellness Program is underpinned by approaches that focus on establishing and maintaining positive relationships and purpose, being self aware and mindful, and practising self care. These five aspects contribute to the full flourishing of each student at the College.
Parents can read more of Dr Carr-Gregg and Andrea Downie's suggestions on building resilience in this edition of SchoolTV.