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The Guidance Counselor at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School provides short-term individual and small group guidance lessons that address academic and personal success. The Counselor provides classroom guidance lessons that include respect, bullying, conflict resolution/problem solving, study skills/test taking skills, and character education.  Communication between the Guidance Counselor and parents is vital. If you have a concern about your child, please call or email.

  Name Title Contact
Nikki Curliss Curliss, Nikki Guidance Counselor 919-657-4800
Building Resilience in Children
09/28/2016 10:50 AM CST

This article was featured in Healthy Children Magazine

It’s not possible to protect our children from the ups and downs of life. Raising resilient children, however, is possible and can provide them with the tools they need to respond to the challenges of adolescence and young adulthood and to navigate successfully in adulthood. Despite our best efforts, we cannot prevent adversity and daily stress; but we can learn to be more resilient by changing how we think about challenges and adversities.

The stress comes from families who are always on the go, who are overscheduled with extracurricular activities, and ever-present peer pressure.

In today’s environment, children and teens need to develop strengths, acquire skills to cope, recover from hardships, and be prepared for future challenges. They need to be resilient in order to succeed in life.

That is why Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., MS Ed, FAAP, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), has joined forces with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to author A Parent’s Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings. The new book provides a dynamic resource to help parents and caregivers build resilience in children, teens, and young adults. Dr. Ginsburg has identified seven “C”s of resilience, recognizing that “resilience isn’t a simple, one-part entity.”

Competence

Competence describes the feeling of knowing that you can handle a situation effectively. We can help the development of competence by:

Helping children focus on individual strengths

Focusing any identified mistakes on specific incidents

Empowering children to make decisions

Being careful that your desire to protect your child doesn’t mistakenly send a message that you don’t think he or she is competent to handle things

Recognizing the competencies of siblings individually and avoiding comparisons

Confidence

A child’s belief in his own abilities is derived from competence. Build confidence by:

Clearly expressing the best qualities, such as fairness, integrity, persistence, and kindness

Recognizing when he or she has done well

Praising honestly about specific achievements; not diffusing praise that may lack authenticity

Not pushing the child to take on more than he or she can realistically handle

Connection

Developing close ties to family and community creates a solid sense of security that helps lead to strong values and prevents alternative destructive paths to love and attention. You can help your child connect with others by:

Building a sense of physical safety and emotional security within your home

Allowing the expression of all emotions, so kids will feel comfortable during difficult times

Addressing conflict openly in the family to resolve problems

Creating a common area where the family can share time (not necessarily TV time)

Character

Children need to develop a solid set of morals and values to determine right from wrong and to demonstrate a caring attitude toward others. To strengthen your child’s character, start by:

Demonstrating how behaviors affect others

Helping your child recognize himself or herself as a caring person

Demonstrating the importance of community and encouraging the development of spirituality

Avoiding racist or hateful statements or stereotypes

Contribution

Children need to realize that the world is a better place because they are in it. Understanding the importance of personal contribution can serve as a source of purpose and motivation. Teach your children how to contribute by:

Stressing the importance of serving others by modeling generosity

Creating opportunities for each child to contribute in some specific way

 

Coping

Learning to cope effectively with stress will help your child be better prepared to overcome life’s challenges. Positive coping lessons include:

Modeling positive coping strategies on a consistent basis

Guiding your child to develop positive and effective coping strategies

Realizing that telling him or her to stop the negative behavior will not be effective

Understanding that risky behaviors are attempts to alleviate the stress and pain in kids’ daily lives

Not condemning your child for negative behaviors and, potentially, increasing his/her sense of shame

 

Control

Children who realize that they can control the outcomes of their decisions are more likely to realize that they have the ability to bounce back. Your child’s understanding that he or she can make a difference further promotes competence and confidence. You can try to empower your child by:

Helping your child to understand that life’s events are not purely random and that most things that happen are the result of another individual’s choices and actions

Learning that discipline is about teaching, not punishing or controlling; using discipline to help your child to understand that his actions produce certain consequences

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