Tuesday, March 1, 2011

LaTeR LiFe iDea NuMBeR 3

Ok so this post is probably gonna bore some of you to death, but others may find it very helpful  (particularly those with children). This is just a copy of a handout I got in my Human Development Class today. It's got some really good tips on how to help kids and teens build better resilience. In other words, things you can do to help your kids handle stressful situations with a little more ease. 

(aka: how to avoid this)
1. MaKe CoNNeCTioNS. Teach your child how to make friends, including the skill of empathy, or feeling another's pain. Encourage your child to be a friend in order to get friends. Build a strong family network to support your child through his or her inevitable disappointments and hurts. At school watch to make sure that one child is not being isolated. Connecting with people  provides social support and strengthens resilience. Some find comfort in connecting with a higher power, whether through organized religion or privately you may wish to introduce your child to your own traditions or worship.
 2. HeLP YouR CHiLD By HaViNG HiM oR HeR HeLP oTHeRS. Children who may feel helpless can be empowered by helping others. Engage your child in age-appropriate volunteer work, or ask for assistance yourself with some task that he or she can master. At school, brainstorm with children about ways they can help others.
3. MaiNTaiN a DaiLy RouTiNe. Sticking to a routine can be comforting to children, especially younger children who crave structure in their lives. Encourage your child to build his or her routines.
4. TaKe a BReaK. While it is important to stick to routines, endlessly worrying can be counter-productive. Teach your child how to focus on something besides what's worrying him. Br aware of what your child is exposed to that can be troubling, whether it be news, the internet, or overheard conversations, and make sure your child takes a break from those things it they trouble her. Although schools are being held for performance on standardized tests, build and unstructured time during the school day to allow children to be creative.  (One of the girls in my class talked about something they did in her family. I can't decide if I like it or not; it'll take a little more thought. I think it's worth stashing for a later discussion though. She said that her parents gave her two days per school year to just skip school. She said they had to tell her mom a couple days ahead of time. That way they could plan ahead a make sure things were still finished in time. The day was never anything extraordinary, just a day at home) 
5. TeaCH youR CHiLD SeLF-CaRe. Make yourself a good example, and teach your child the importance of making time to eat properly, exercise and rest. Make sure your child has time to have fun, and make sure that your child hasn't scheduled every moment of his or her like with no "down time" to relax. Caring for oneself and even having fun will help your child stay balanced and better deal with stressful times. 
6. MoVe ToWaRD youR GoaLS. Teach your child to set reasonable goals and then to move toward them one step at a time. Moving toward that goal - even if it's a tiny step - and receiving praise for doing so will focus your child on what he or she has accomplished rather than on what he or she hasn't accomplished, and can help build resilience to move forward in the face of challenges. At school, break down large assignments into small, achievable goals for younger children, and for older children, acknowledge accomplishments on the way to larger goals.
7. NuRTuRe a PoSiTiVe SeLF-VieW. Help your child remember ways that he or she has successfully handled hardships in the past and then help him understand that these past challenges help him build the strength to handle future challenges. Help your child learn to trust himself to solve problems and make appropriate decisions. Teach your child to see the humor in life, and the ability to laugh at one's self. At school, help children see how their individual accomplishments contribute to the wellbeing of the class as a whole.
8. KeeP THiNGS iN PeRSPeCTiVe aND MaiNTaiN a HoPeFuL ouTLooK. Even when your child is facing very painful events, help him look an the situation in a broader context and jeep a long-term perspective. Although your child may be too your to consider a long-term look on his own, help his or her see that there is a future beyond the current situation and that the future can be good. An optimistic and positive outlook enables your child to see the good things in life and can keep going even in the hardest times. In school, use history to show that life moves on after bad events. (Another girl in my class actually has a child, and she said that one thing she does with her little girl is talk about all the good things that happened that day, and then about all the good things that will happen the next day. That way she'll go to be with an optimistic outlook.)
9. LooK FoR oPPoRTuNiTieS FoR SeLF-DiSCoVeRy. Tough times are often the times when children learn the most about themselves. Help your child take a look at how whatever he is facing can teach him "what he is made of." At school, consider leading discussions of what each student has learned after facing down a tough situation.
10. aCCePT THaT CHaNGe iS PaRT oF LiViNG. Change often can be scary for children and teens. Help your child see that change is part of life and new goals can replace goals that have become unattainable. In school, point out how students have changed as they moved up in grade levels and discuss how that change has had an impact on the students.


  1. love it! I'm one that finds this rather helpful! =) Just printed it off! PS I can't get my physiology file to upload in an email cause it's too big =( I can always burn it onto a CD or maybe a flash drive for you?

  2. Annie you are so great!! A) I am so glad you printed this off, and B) that would be great for the assignment! If you end up burning it to a cd then I can give you one to replace it, or flashdrive works, either way :) do you work before our next class?