Resilience and our little ones.

Thursday February 11, 2016

Why did I never get a decent part in the school play?...

I was rubbish at games, always lost the race...

My best friend chose to sit next to someone else...

The setbacks of childhood might now seem trivial, but if we cast our minds back, we can probably all remember the very real hurt caused by these early experiences when things didn't go the way we wanted them to.

As a parent, my natural instinct is to protect my little one - from pain, from adversity, from anything that might hurt him. I want his life to be as carefree and untroubled as possible. He has a lifetime of adult worries to come, so why shouldn't I shield him for as long as I can?

But then I remind myself that these (small?) obstacles in childhood serve an important purpose. When we learn how to cope when things don't go our way in our early years, we are building the foundation for our coping skills as an adult.

If we swoop in and fix every mistake or problem in our children's lives, how else can they develop the resilience and the skills to cope with adult problems?

Someone broke my heart...

I lost my job...

My mum died...

I don't know if you are aware, but in the UK this is Children's Mental Health Week. And amidst our wonderful, thoughtful and supportive community here at Moodscope I'd encourage us to use this week as an opportunity to think about our own resilience and how we nurture it, as well as that of children (whether our own, our nieces, nephews, grand or godchildren or those in our daily lives). We must help them to grow up to be the well-rounded, thriving adults of tomorrow.

We can't protect children from life, or change the difficult circumstances they sometimes live in, but we can help them cope with it, to deal with adversity, to learn from the knocks and challenges - however small or big - so they don't become overwhelmed. Instead of 'getting stuck' we can help them to 'bounce forward'...

A Moodscope member

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