What is resilience? It is what you need to weather disappointments or unexpected pitfalls in life. Some people really struggle with this: the slightest upset of plans can leave them gloomy and even depressed.
Kids can really struggle with this concept as well. Being small and relatively powerless, little frustrations can become major upsets. If they get into a habit of giving up or shutting down at the first sign of trouble, they’re going to have difficulty overcoming adversity later on.
This can become particularly obvious at school, where new kinds of challenges need to be overcome every day. Building resilience in your child – the ability to pick himself up and try again, or to take life as it comes and enjoy whatever happens – is essential.
Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available to you. I’d like to introduce you to Pete the Cat. This is a story of a cat who loved his white shoes – until he stepped in something that changed their colour. Did he get upset? No way – he kept on walking and loving his newly coloured shoes.
What a great way to show children that whatever comes, you can be happy. The American phrase “it’s all good” ends the story, and I know that some people really hate such phrases, condemning them as simplistic, naïve, clichéd. But such attitudes say more about you than the phrase. If you can come to an understanding and acceptance that life won’t always go your way, and if you can look for the good in a situation “Pollyanna” style, life really will be “all good” for you. And you’ll be much happier.
At least, it’s a great lesson to teach your kids and to re-learn yourself, even if you do revert now and then back to that cynic that you became when you weren’t looking.
Check out this great video of Pete the Cat being read and performed by the writer and illustrator to a live audience. And see what you and your child can get out of its simple message: