RESILIENCE LESSON FROM A CHILD

After a particularly challenging day at work my son asked me what was wrong. Well, I am one to always be truthful and yet simultaneously conscious my five year old would be unlikely to understand the depths of my struggles for the day, I began to explain in my version of simple terms. “Oh darling, I wasn’t able to get my job done today because I just didn’t have all the answers and I guess that has made me a little sad.”

My son replied with is infinite wisdom and said “You know mum, sometimes I can’t do my job either and it’s not very good”. Of course, this instantly made me laugh because he attends daycare and his job is to play and have fun, right? This abstract statement intruiged me to explore his response further, so I asked why he couldn’t get his job done.

“Well, sometimes not all the building blocks are there so then, I just can’t do it and it’s just not very good.” He paused and looked down to his feet, but almost instantly glanced up with a spark in his eye and continued to counsel me. “But you know, it’s OK mum, I go and play with something else and sometimes when I come back the building blocks are there again”.

Perhaps it was the reference to building blocks that resonated with me as a metaphor for missing answers, however his 5 year old wisdom was actually exactly what I needed to be reminded of. In fact, we all need to be reminded of the simplicity in practising resilience. We don’t always have all the ‘building blocks’ we need to solve a problem. Yet we sometimes forget that it is not a justification to give up completely. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties and the ability to bounce back. What I enjoyed most about his example is that he took a break when he didn’t have the answer and then came back to the building blocks. We teach our children resilience and in their worlds, challenges can be as equally debilitating or emotional as our challenges. If our children are able to practice resilience, we certainly have the ability to do the same.

So here is what my son taught me.

Never give up – it is a cliche term however do not overlook the value in this phrase.

Take a break – it is healthy to take a break and in fact when we do our subconscious often continues to work on the problem for us.

Choose your attitude – one thing only we can control is how we choose to respond to situations. Regardless of how much adversity we may feel like we are enduring, there is plenty of positives we can focus on.

Value the growth – applying strategies to be more resilient offer a positive by product of personal growth. Enjoy the journey of problem solving and celebrate your own personal growth.

Pear People are passionate about strengthening our resilience and supporting our business partners to achieve resilient high performing teams. Pear People have an excellent tool able to measure resilience and inform recruitmenbt and development opportunities.