3 Roads to Resilience

Empty road through a field with some clouds in the sky

Recent research has been showing us the importance of being resilient. More than just a coping mechanism, resilience is a skill that sets students up for success. Adaptable students are better able to navigate the inevitable challenges of life - big and small. Some children appear to be born with perseverant personalities while others might seem more rigid. Luckily, all of us (adults included!) can practice some discernible skills to improve our mental flexibility. 

Talk About It

Even adults have a tough time talking about emotions. Imagine being a child with the added challenges of limited vocabulary and less experience. Older children might struggle as their feelings become more complex. Develop strong, safe relationships when students are feeling stable and balanced, so they know they can reach out when they need help. Model this behavior by asking students to help each other or ask yourself when you personally can use some advice. Wharton psychologist Adam Grant asks his daughters for advice. He reports that they not genuinely offer helpful insights, but he's also showing his girls that it's ok to ask for help. 

Cover art: Four teenager's legs sitting on a concrete wallCommunication Skills for Teens: How to Listen, Express, and Connect for Success by Patrick Fanning, Matthew McKay, Ph.D., Kelly Skeen, and Michelle Skeen, Psy.D.

Communication Skills for Teens provides the guidance you need to become a better communicator and succeed in all areas of life. You'll also learn tons of essential life skills, including active listening, assertiveness, clarifying language, the art of an apology, compassion, interviewing skills, family communication, and more. Each chapter focuses on one key aspect of communication, offers a real teen's perspective, and includes practical exercises to help you apply what you've learned in the real world-away from your computer and smartphone screens. 

Be Positive

Seeing the glass as half full means recognizing that even if half the lemonade spilled, you can still enjoy lemonade! Helping children see the upsides of situations teaches them to see different perspectives and can open their eyes to new possibilities. Positivity is also the basis for maintaining a growth mindset, which is another whole post, but the general idea is that humans can change. So every challenge can help us reach farther when we work through it.

Cover art: Single red helium balloon on a yellow backgroundHappiness: The Science Behind Your Smile by Daniel Nettle

Bringing together the latest insights from psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy, Daniel Nettle sheds light on happiness, the most basic of human desires. Nettle examines whether people are basically happy or unhappy, whether success can make us happy, what sort of remedies to unhappiness work, why some people are happier than others, and much more.

Giving Back

Few things feel better than helping someone else. If nothing else, the act of supporting someone else might distract from the pain of a failure or misstep. Thinking of ways to help others also reinforces the idea of seeing things from different perspectives. It takes us out of our own minds and experiences and forces us to see other people's experiences more fully. In the long term, those friends who received help might be able to return the favor one day in the future.

Cover art: An elephant and a dog sitting on a bench in the rain - the elephant is holding an umbrella over the dogChicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories of Compassion and Paying it Forward by Amy Newmark

Scientific studies have shown that "doing good" is not only good for the recipient of the good deed, but also for the person doing it, making that person happier and healthier. So dive into these 101 stories of kindness, from the everyday to the extraordinary. 

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