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Teaching resilience in young teens

(11 Posts)
ChoudeBruxelles Sun 09-Dec-18 14:45:24

Ds is nearly 13 but really struggles when things go wrong. For example he’s on a first aid course with air cadets but has failed because he got something wrong with dealing with a wound. He’s called sobbing and wants to throw in the towel withcadets completely. He’d rather not continue and walk away than try again.

Any tips on teaching them to be more resilient?

noblegiraffe Sun 09-Dec-18 14:59:48

He needs to see success as the end of a route littered with failures - there are lots of high profile people who talk about how often they’ve failed and picked themselves up. Does he have any idols?

You could also discuss with him things that he has achieved as the result of hard work.

Generally his self esteem needs to be disentangled from success in all endeavours. Is he normally high-achieving?

ChoudeBruxelles Sun 09-Dec-18 15:07:31

He doesn’t sail through everything but doesn’t really struggle either. Has to put some effort into some things.

noblegiraffe Sun 09-Dec-18 15:13:22

So what’s the problem with the first aid? Why does he want to bin cadets totally when first aid is a small part?

BrokenWing Sun 09-Dec-18 15:14:39

Let him calm down and get over the initial upset. Then have a chat, let him talk mostly to let him work out why he is so upset, how does he feel, is he disappointed he failed, or embarrassed because others passed? Make sure he knows there is nothing wrong with being disappointed or embarrassed its an honest emotion. Talk about why he got it wrong and what he could have done to prevent it and let him work out what his options are.

If he wants to give up let him know its his decision but it would be a shame to give up something I assume he enjoys over a single failure when he can redo the test in a couple of months (?) and how he should speak to one of the instructors first for advice before making any decision. But ultimately give him the control and let him understand the decision is his to make.

ChoudeBruxelles Sun 09-Dec-18 16:56:34

Thanks brokenwing. The first aid is a small part and he’s not been going long and is one of the youngest in the squadron.

mooncuplanding Sun 09-Dec-18 17:04:24

Resilient thinking has three components:

It’s not permanent. “Just because I failed this course doesn’t mean I can’t pass next time”

It’s not everything, it’s just this one thing “I might have failed that one question but I got most of it right. And just because I failed First Aid doesn’t mean I’m bad at everything”

It’s not me “this can happen to anyone, there’s nothing wrong with me. I pass tests all the time”

Sometimes people need help in not letting their internal dialogue be the opppsite of the above so you have to help them. When they think like the above when shit goes wrong, they will persist and rarely quit things unnecessarily

CherryPavlova Sun 09-Dec-18 17:45:30

I think teaching resilience has to start in early childhood.
Failing, being unhappy (in moderation) feeling pain, are essential to ensuring children understand that the negaand unpleasant feelings are temporary. They can try again and again and again until they succeed. We always inson sticking with commitments such as clubs and not giving up if they came across a difficulty. We didn’t rush to solve every problem nor try to create perpetual happiness and joy. We let them learn they had the ability to cope without our interference.
Don’t make excuses would be more advice. Yes you didn’t pass. Never mind, revise some more and pass next time. Move on. Don’t overindulge negativity.

ragged Sun 09-Dec-18 17:51:54

Good comments by MCLanding. Resilience can be learnt & improved, at any age.

readingurz Sun 09-Dec-18 18:22:29

There’re a ted talk about the benefits of failure, used it with adults and teens at work and always taken well

BackforGood Sun 09-Dec-18 22:51:46

Completely agree with Cherry

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