October: Caring Relationships:
Experts have different theories and terms for talking about resiliency, but one point is unanimous among them: the single most important factor in child resiliency is relationships. Here are some practical tips on building Caring Relationships with your child or teen:
- Be aware of little opportunities to connect – during meals and car rides, by helping with homework, watching TV, or doing chores together.
- Schedule special time with individual children where the two of you do something you enjoy together. Relationships can’t be built only around “special time”, but it’s one way to stay connected.
- Remember to enjoy your kids at all ages and stages. As children grow, we expect more of them and we become more critical. There’s a danger of focusing only on their faults, or behaviours we’d like to see improve. It’s important to notice children and teen’s good qualities, to find humour in the odd and funny things they do, and to show interest in the things that interest them.
- Try writing your child or teen a note telling them how much you love them and letting them know that you’re thinking of them. When kids (and adults!) know that they are not alone in both the good and bad times, it builds their sense of belonging and connectedness.
September: Building your Child/Youth’s Resiliency, Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing:
Have you ever wondered why some people are particularly good at dealing with ups and downs and seem to go through life with a positive attitude? There are many reasons why people approach life the way they do, but those who are good at coping with challenges have something in common: resiliency.
Resiliency is not one specific thing, but a combination of skills and positive attributes that people gain from their life experiences and relationships. These attributes help them solve problems, cope with challenges and bounce back from disappointments.
Obviously, resiliency is something we want our children to develop and maintain. In life, things go wrong and we sometimes experience big changes. Being able to deal with those setbacks and transitions is a key factor in positive mental health, as well as school, career and relationship success.
There are four key areas that our school board has recognized as crucial in building resilient students: developing caring relationships, fostering the establishment of realistic an achievable expectations, encouraging meaningful engagement of children and youth, and promoting their choice of healthy responses when challenges or difficulties arise.