What is the cost?

There are many reasons why we use play, STEAM and art to teach resilience in our programs, here are just three.

  • Play based, thinkering activities give children something to do and they learn from trial and error.

  • Giving children’s nervous systems get a break from the high levels of stimulation that online games provide while they are at our workshops.

  • Practicing dealing with challenges life throws up provides scaffolding for future challenges.

This week, the third reason truly tested me. Each of my creatives this week identified a goal with me. While I was speaking to each child in turn I set the other children a task to draw a picture of themselves “doing” one of their key strengths. For example, Abbey being kind.

Miss 8 happily started her drawing about her being persistent. She did an amazingly detailed picture while I was talking to another child she came up to me and asked me for another piece of paper cause she had made a mistake. Anyone who knows me, knows that mistakes are challenges to work around. So, I asked her to work with it and see how she could be creative and persistent to keep going. I then got back to assisting the other child set their goal.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see she was challenged. She just sat and looked at it, she was getting upset and I stopped, went over and spoke with her. Tears were forming and for several reasons she could not see past the single mistake she had made. No amount of telling her that it did not matter and encouragement to try something worked. She was stuck. And my heart was touched. I knew if I gave her what she wanted the tears would stop, she would have renewed confidence and she would be happy.

Every day as a parent of older children and working with other people’s children, I am faced with this situation. Things are hard for my children, maybe they have not done their homework because they did not organise themselves, they want new clothes cause the ones I have bought are out of date etc, etc, etc….. The result they get sad, frustrated, angry and I want to help them by making them happy.

But what is the cost? Is their happiness in that very moment worth the time in the future when they come up against a mountain of a challenge and are not prepared and don’t have the skills to deal with the emotions they are feeling and the grit they need to get through? Working in the corporate world I coached many people who did not have the resilience to bounce back from challenges.

As parents, we need the strength of judgement. We need to be the Devil’s Advocate in such situations. For example, what if we let them give up on an afterschool activity that they find boring?

An article that came across my desk this week titled “Reasons today’s kids are bored at school, feel entitled, have little patience and few real friends.” Those five reasons: technology, kids getting everything the moment they want it, kids ruling our worlds, endless fun and limited social interaction

The author, Jacqueline Victoria Prooday recommends:

  • Limiting technology and reconnect with your kids emotionally – play a board game as a family

  • Train delayed gratification – make them wait!

  • Don’t be afraid to set limits – schedule meal times, tech time, sleep time

  • Teach your child to do monotonous work – folding laundry, making their bed, unpacking their lunch box

  • Teach social skills – how to meet someone, please and thank you.

Simple maybe, but challenging when you mix in emotion and the pressures of daily living.

A link to the whole article is available in our library.

Our next Mistake Me! Workshop is a perfect way to emotionally connect with your child while you both learn tips, tricks and life hacks on dealing with challenges. More information and bookings to our few remaining tickets here.