#MeaningfulMonday – resilience

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This week’s word is ‘Resilience’.

What does it mean to you? Are you resilient? Does it make life better? Does it cause harm?

Remember to link your blog here via the comments below & link back to this post on your blog (otherwise people won’t join in!)

So, I’ll go first:

This weekend TinyPants (my 6 year old) told me that she had been given a worry ball at school and that she had to squeeze it whenever she was worried about something.

Hang on a minute. This sounds like resilience class. I had expressly told the school that I did not consent to her attending. Cue angry mummy. But not with TinyPants.

Why can’t she attend these sessions? What’s so awful? Why don’t you want her to be resilient? All fair questions, and I’ll admit it does make me seem like a bit of a weird parent to suggest I don’t want my child being given help for mental health in the classroom.

My issue with these sessions is the way in which mental health, and specifically anxiety is dealt with. The saying “worries worries go away” made me choke on my coffee. Ok, firstly why does a six year old need to worry at school? What is making this child anxious? (And she’s not particularly anxious) The best way to find this out is to TALK to the child. Let them draw with you and just talk. Don’t tell them that worries are bad and that they should be shut away!

Yes, many anxieties are things we can’t change, but a primary school child won’t understand the idea of creating inner peace. What they need is a responsible adult to show them that when they are worried, someone will listen to them.

My girls attend a Catholic run school, and I’m genuinely concerned that the awful revelations over the past years have not provided a lesson that has been learnt. Don’t tell children to ignore the bad stuff. This leads to years of silence when something awful does happen.

Don’t show them that bottling things up is healthy. Show them that the adults that care for them will listen, will take them seriously and won’t brush things under the carpet. That way, we will have a generation of children with far less anxiety than their parents.

In the words of Crosby, Steele, Nash & Young : Teach your children well.

Your turn my lovelies.

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2 thoughts on “#MeaningfulMonday – resilience

  1. I thought your points were very interesting. Have you read “Growing Happy Kids: How to Foster Inner Confidence, Success, and Happiness” by Maureen Healy? It’s a book I wish I’d been able to read when my children were young, as the author offers doable ideas for helping children grow their own resiliency and inner peace. I wish I’d been able to find something like it two decades ago when my children were toddlers. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_13?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=growing+happy+kids&sprefix=growing+happy%2Caps%2C313

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  2. First of all, I completely agree that school is not really the place to learn how to deal with anxiety, especially for someone who is 6 years old. Of course children are going to have worries or things that they are afraid of. My son is starting to be concerned about the dark, for example. Also, educators have no idea what is going on in the students’ homes. Maybe there IS a problem but as an outsider, a teacher has no place assuming he/she knows what is best for THAT child. That would bother me as well.
    When I think about teaching my son resilience, I think that I would want him to know how to face his worries so that instead of causing anxiety, he is being taught that he can change his reaction to a situation that causes fear. He is only 3 so his fears seem very small to us. He had an issue with dogs for awhile and we taught him how to handle himself around dogs and that barking wasn’t scary, it was how the dog said hello. He was afraid of the fire alarm but instead of letting him worry about it, we let him know that it’s a good thing we have it so we know to get him out of the house if there is a fire. Maybe some people wish to treat anxiety but I think that is only treating symptoms rather than dealing with the actual problem. Wow, my comment was quite long! Whoops! 🙂

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