Do you know how many national or international days there are, without any particular focus on celebrating resilience in children?
There are more than you think.
Let me share a story with you about a time I visited a friend who is a dog breeder. We were sitting together having a glass of wine on the deck while watching her beagles run around.
“I can’t wait until tomorrow,” she said to me suddenly.
“Why?” I asked.
My friend turned to me with a smile on her face and said, “it’s National Puppy Day”.
I simply smiled back, as I didn’t want to acknowledge that I had no idea. I couldn’t wait to get home to google though, as it made me think about what other national or international days there are.
Did you know that I found:
- National Puppy Day
- National Kitten Day
- National Science Day
- International Wheel Chair Day
- International Day of Families
However, I didn’t find ‘International Resilience Day’ at all. And that just doesn’t seem right to me.
There is no day on the calendar for celebrating our resilience; a quality that takes work to master and yet is essential for us to face the world and its many challenges with a sense of confidence, optimism and persistence. I just found that to be incredibly interesting, don’t you?
How awesome is it that we now embrace celebration? International Women’s Day alone has been steadily rising as a prominent day of observance. That to me is the goal. I am so proud and grateful that we are celebrating international women’s day, however we don’t celebrate other successes as loudly as we do International Women’s Day (take International Men’s Day. In the immortal words of my dear grandfather, he would say men are a celebration every day).
Despite the seemingly limited space left on our calendars, my number one choice of celebration is to truly understand and connect with our mental health and resilience. After all, that is the essence of society.
Shouldn’t we celebrate resilience in children too?
Children are incredibly important aspects of our lives and in society. Shouldn’t we be celebrating them in a similar way to how we celebrate International Women’s Day?
The word resilience is used a lot in society and in different ways. Resilience can be when a young child has fallen from their bike and we tell them to get up and try again, that is resilience. Then there is resilience when children go through tricky life experiences and struggle to make sense of them. There can be small, medium and large resilience stories and they should all be acknowledged and celebrated.
An example of resilience in life occurred when our eldest grandchild started high school. There were a lot of firsts in this experience:
- The school was not a short distance from home, so she would need to take the bus and had never done that before.
- She would have to make new friends without the comfort of old friends around her.
- She would have to navigate her way around a new large school in contrast to the little primary school she had been used to.
She was definitely feeling nervous and I would say overwhelmed at times. However, what she did was an example of what resilient kids do. Her approach was to take small steps to build relationships and feel more comfortable in her new surroundings. She has now settled in nicely, has a great group of friends, plays volleyball, does debating and goes about her day-to-day school life with ease, grace and in style.
My granddaughter was demonstrating resilience by persevering through a difficult transition, seeking support, and taking proactive steps to adapt to her new situation. She had the skills of resilience, a supportive and nurturing school and home environment where she could thrive in the face of any challenge.
When children are resilient the have:
- the ability to solve problems
- the power to cope with challenges that come along with everyday life.
As a passionate educator and business owner of The Resilience Tutor, I get to hear and celebrate resilience stories all the time, for which I am eternally grateful for. Resilience in our young people is one of the reasons why I totally believe that we should be celebrating a special day dedicated to resilience, and especially resilience in children.
After all, our young people are the smallest most empowering precious people that are on this amazing planet earth.
Watching resilience in children firsthand
One of the things I loved to do as a mother, at the end of the day, was to take a moment and watch my children sleep. I am sure you know the feeling of seeing them all curled up and tucked under there blanket, just having that sense of knowing that they have had days filled with adventure, wonder and learning.
- Lauren, was born to be a teacher, she spent all day long playing pretend school and practicing her teaching skills on her brothers. Now she is the most amazing teacher.
- Jayden would help me in the kitchen, baking cookies and cooking dinner. Now he is an amazing baker.
- My grandson Tait spends endless hours on the iPad or playing video games. I am sure we will become our future computer technician or will definitely advance the digital world.
I was talking to a young person recently who just loved statistics.
They said to me, “did you know that 25% of the world is under 15 years of age and 10% is over 65 years of age?”
Their next point stopped me in my tracks. “The other 65% was once children.”
That made me think for a long time. Technically our world is made up of children.
The words of Nelson Mandela ring in my ears:
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
Don’t we want our children to know that we celebrate them, their lives, their achievements, their struggles, their resilience and the way that they have fun?
Here are three reasons why I think we should celebrate resilience and in particular resilience in children:
- Children are our future.
- Children see the world with fresh eyes and an open heart.
- Children know no limits only opportunities.
I love the way that American writer Christopher Moore once said: “Children see magic because they look for it.”
Christopher understands the importance of celebrating when he writes comic books, filled with humour. He knew the power of his imagination, which flowed through his pen.
And who could forget the words of Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.”
All children embrace their imagination every day. When I was a young child, I spent days filled with reading Alice in Wonderland and using my imagination as we went on adventures together. Have I stopped that today? No I haven’t! I still love reading and in fact I love it so much that I teach children how to evoke their imagination through imagery.
Let’s imagine a world where our children are celebrated every day.
For more information on resilience in children, and how to empower our youth to take on the world to change it for themselves and for the better, find out more here.
My name is LK Tommi – I’m an educator working in the education and psychology field, and the author of a resilience-based book and journal series supporting children and teenagers to better understand their emotions, thinking, energy, and behaviour, and how it all connects with their everyday life experiences.
The people that know me well will tell you how much I love to chat.
Please connect with me at Facebook and Instagram: The Resilience Tutor