Last week I got talking to the librarian and she asked me if we did any Resilience training with our kids. In order to make sure we were talking the same thing I asked her to clarify what she meant. Apparently the school is basing its curriculum direction next year partly on this concept of teaching children to be resilient when negative things happen (the real knocks of life.) She painted such a glowing picture of this that it was hard not to be on the back foot but as she was talking I was thinking like crazy…. “Do we do that?”
I don’t believe for a second that we have to do everything that the schools are doing but when we talk to people I do believe we have to be knowledgeable and purposeful on what we are doing in our homeschooling.
It came to me that yes we do “do” resilience training but from a totally different perspective. I shared this with her.
We come from the perspective of teaching our children to be leaders – not followers. There is a verse in Deut that my parents used a lot with my brother when he was little – to be the head and not the tail. This has always been in our minds as we train our children.
We teach our children from a character perspective – that they make decisions, take action based on a truth of character.
That as a leader, when they see people in difficulty they will step in and be their help and I remembered a really good example to share with her.
The day before, when the girls were here crafting, some of the girls were discussing a movie that they had seen, they were sharing the laughs and reciting the one-liners. One of the girls who hadn’t seen the movie was trying really hard to bring the conversation around to a movie she had seen. I believe this was her resilience skills coming in to action. It was hard going for her. I pulled Nomi aside and pointed out that her friend hadn’t seen the movie and had Nomi picked up on that? I asked her how did she think her friend would be feeling when the rest of them were all enjoying the memories of the movie? I then encouraged her to be a leader in the group by turning the conversation to something that all of them could enjoy. Could she do that? Yes she could!
It is not that I have rose coloured glasses on and want to protect my children from the knocks of life but I want them to be strong in themselves to what is right regardless of the circumstances. This is character.
Later on I was reflecting on this conversation and I was reminded that there is a difference here – to train the children to look after themselves, or to train the children to look out for someone else. The other difference is in reactive training (fixing a problem) or proactive training (instilling what is right).