This week on assembly I spoke to our girls about resilience. In particular I discussed the work of Dr Kenneth Ginsburg who is an American based child paediatrician and human development expert. Ginsburg proposes that there are 7 integral and interrelated components in the makeup of a resilient child; competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control.
Competence – is the ability to know how to handle stressful situations effectively. It requires having the skills to face challenges, and the practicing of those skills so that you feel competent in dealing with situations.
Confidence – This is the belief in one’s own abilities and is rooted in competence. Girls gain confidence by being able to demonstrate their competence in real situations.
Connection – Girls with close ties to friends, family, and community groups are likely to have a stronger sense of security and belonging. These girls are more likely to have strong values and are less likely to make poor decisions.
Character – Girls with character enjoy a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. They are in touch with their values and are comfortable sticking to them. They can demonstrate a caring attitude towards others. They have a strong sense of right and wrong and are prepared to stand up for what they believe.
Contribution – If girls can make a personal contribution to the world, they can learn the powerful lesson that the world is a better place because they are in it. Hearing thanks and voices of appreciation when you contribute, will increase your willingness to take actions and make choices that improve your world, thereby enhancing your own competence, character, and sense of connection.
Coping – Girls who have a wide repertoire of coping tactics like social skills and stress reduction skills, are able to cope more effectively and are better prepared to overcome life’s challenges.
Control – When you realise that you have control over your decisions and actions, you are more likely to know how to make choices in a way that you can bounce back from life’s challenges.
Like many things in life, some people are more naturally adept at different skills and attributes. For others hard work is required. The same is true for resilience. If you are not lucky enough to be naturally resilient, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be. However, change will not come by itself. You need to make a conscious decision to change and put deliberate plans in place to affect that change and develop the skills and attributes you seek.
Dr John Fry
Deputy Principal - Studies