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Resilient Children Have Proactive Parents

This parenting skill will help you raise resilient children through teachable moments. Our parenting expert and author is sharing an excerpt from her book, The Resilience Formula. Let's find out how we can start teaching this formula today.

 How We Respond to Life's Challenges

Our response to any challenge, small or large, is based on our understanding of these four things:

1- SELF: what we think about who we are, what we stand for, and what we are capable of.

2- SITUATION: our ability to accurately assess the challenge before us.

3- SUPPORT: our knowledge of our support structures and how to access them.

4- STRATEGIES: our ability to access and use effective strategies to handle the challenge.

When we face any challenge, we draw on our understanding of these FourSs.

The Challenge and Teachable Moment at a Pancake Breakfast

For example, recently a group of elementary students we know hosted a pancake breakfast to raise money for charity. Everything was set to go: they had rented industrial griddles (placed in the hallway because the kitchen was so small) and about 8:50 am, they started cranking out pancakes.

The challenge? The griddles had tripped the fuse because the electrical system was not designed to handle such a power draw. In walked the first customers, with no pancakes and cold coffee.

The Response Drew from the Four Ss:

. SELF: The kids and parents needed to know that they could find alternate solutions--that they had the ability to draw on other plans.

. SITUATION: The needed to evaluate the situation and understand that they could find other solutions. One person immediately moved into the kitchen and started frying pans on the stove, another started microwaving coffee cups one at a time, a third started rounding up home griddles, and forth went to find the head of school to locate the circuit breaker. In other words, they worked together to put a plan in place.

. SUPPORT: They knew how to draw upon several support structures: other community members with home griddles the head of school, and the custodian (who happened to walk in minutes after the fuse had tripped).

. STRATEGIES: Both the kids and the adults used multiple strategies to address the challenge. They found ways to meet the immediate needs while coming up with a long-term solution to the problem (finding a few kitchen griddles and knowing where the fuse was located in case it tripped again).

The pancake breakfast was a success. Why? Because they used the challenge as an opportunity to teach resilience.

Proactive parenting is being able to use the FourSs as a rubric for everyday challenges to teach our children resilience.

Your Key to This Parenting Skill

It involves being able to understand our natural reactions, using certain tools to override those reactions, and using that challenge to teach resilience. When we can do this, we are proactive, not reactive. (From pages 31-33)


To find out more about parenting for independence and problem solving go to page 37 of The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive Not Reactive Parenting

Cover Donna
Available at Amazon.com

Let's give a special THANKS to Dr. Donna Volpitta for offering this fascinating strategy for building resilience in our children.

Dr. Donna Volpitta
Dr. Donna Volpitta


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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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