Thursday, 16 September 2010

EQ - Developing Resilience

Recent events have tested everyone in one way or another and are a powerful reminder of how lucky we are, as well as how adaptable we are. This is an area of learning which is of great interest to me because it impacts on all other areas - the issue of developing resilience.

Our school values research indicated that Strength/Self-Belief was one of the top rated values by parents, children and staff. This important value is an essential component of all learning and it comes under the general area of emotional intelligence.

In this week's newsletter I briefly touch on the idea of how our children gain strength. I believe children gain strength/self-belief mostly from the role models around them but they also gain this from the environment in which they develop.

Some of key messages from our Community Support Meeting, run by NZDF personnel last week, included:

  1. Children gain their strength from us as the key adults in their lives. This means that if we aren't coping well, this is likely to affect our kids. Get help or ask for it if you need/want it.
  2. Every reaction to traumatic events is normal - everyone responds in different ways. Many children may not respond/react straight away, so monitoring our kids for the next few weeks is important.
  3. Providing reassurance, love, positive communication and hope are key to learning to become more resilient.

Some authors believe resilience comes into three main areas, as follows:


  • People around me I trust and who love me, no matter what
  • People who set limits for me so I know when to stop before there is danger or trouble
  • People who show me how to do things right by the way they do things
  • People who want me to learn to do things on my own
  • People who help me when I am sick, in danger or need to learn


  • A person people can like and love
  • Glad to do nice things for others and show my concern
  • Respectful of myself and others
  • Willing to be responsible for what I do
  • Sure things will be all right


  • Talk to others about things that frighten me or bother me
  • Find ways to solve problems that I face
  • Control myself when I feel like doing something not right or dangerous
  • Figure out when it is a good time to talk to someone or to take action
  • Find someone to help me when I need it
Some questions you might like to consider over the dinner table:
  • How does our environment enable our child(ren) to gain self-belief/strength?
  • What is the relationship between making mistakes and developing self-belief?
  • How can we work more closely with school to further develop self-belief in our child?
  • How does self-belief/strength link in with self-esteem and how can we maximise this?

If you have ideas please feel free to make comments on this blog post.


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