Some of the kids I meet don't know how to be resilient. They give up easily, don't know how to stick with a problem if their first attempt at a solution doesn't work. I don't believe humans are born that way. Look at how joyfully a child fails when learning to walk or talk. I think resiliency is a natural trait but sometimes we UN-learn it. There are as many contributing factors to this as there are people. A few I've seen are:
- helicopter parents. Kids need to learn to solve their own problems. If mom or dad is always doing it they're always going to wait for someone to fix things.
- absent parents. Not necessarily physically absent, but emotionally. And yes, this contradicts the first point, but it's true. We all need support and kids are no exception. Parents need to find that middle ground.
- too much passive activity for developing brains. TV, video games, computers, tablets etc. Few of these involve the brain on a truly active level. While there is some decision making in games, it's limited (although I do like the fact that some games require the user to persevere/think creatively and try again and again to achieve the next level!). Keeping that young mind active and mobile is vital. You need practice to become a creative problem solver.
- too little physical activity. What better way to learn resiliency than to play on a losing team? Or to be the last one picked in your favourite game? Or to be the smallest one at the playground? Learning to lose with grace and to come back and face the next game is incredibly powerful.
I think as a group, writers are some of the most resilient people I know. So much to learn, so many ways to be rejected, so many steps to take. And for the most part, we do it willingly and with a smile. Gotta love it!
So how did you learn to be resilient?