Hope and the Power of Resiliency
Resilience is the ability of an individual to cope with stress and adversity and to eventually overcome difficult experiences. Resilience (along with impulse control) is arguably the single greatest predictor in assessing for suicide; clinicians believe that if an individual has successfully navigated negative life events in the past, they will be able to utilize their resources to successfully do so again.
"Hope floats"; One of the greatest barriers to developing resilience is a lack of hope and faith in self. Beginning in early childhood, the messages we send our children impact their self concept and their ability to build healthy self-esteem. It is a precarious dance of moderation that significant adults (parents, teachers, caregivers, grandparents) must engage in; we must do enough to fulfill basic needs yet not too much to encroach upon the child's ability to fully develop on their own.
The messages must be clear:
- You can and will fail in life and that is okay; failure teaches us how to cope and to learn from bad experiences.
- Life is not clean and clear cut, it is messy and that is okay because we need to develop frustration tolerance, it helps us to ride out the bad times.
- Hope can always be restored with positive experiences, it takes time and a healthy environment to show that life can be a rich and rewarding experience.
- And my personal favorite, "Don't say I can't, learn how to ask for the help you need."
What are some your messages that teach resiliency and hope in your homes?