On March 14th, our West School PTC welcomed Dr. Susan Bliss to discuss how we parents can support their children in "Building Resilience through Problem-Solving." The presentation, held in the Brown Bag Theater at West School, took a deep dive into how the development of problem-solving skills in children, especially those in the elementary-school age group, is crucial for establishing a sense of resilience well into their adult lives.
The presentation had three main focuses; reviewing current findings in childhood mental health research, learning how different parenting styles can foster or hinder independent problem-solving skills, and understanding parental techniques that help our children to recover from difficulties, such as misfortune or change, in a positive way.
One of the most significant takeaways of today's presentation was the "7 C's of Resilience". According to Dr. Ginsburg, a child pediatrician and human development expert, there are seven different skills interwoven into the commonly-known attribute of resilience. The "7 C's of Resilience" include Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Contribution, Coping Skills, and Control.
Like any task, developing these skills will take time and intentionality, but they are crucial for students to learn early in their adolescence. Praising effort, encouraging a growth mindset, and, most importantly, allowing our children to fail helps them learn how to navigate their feelings rather than assuming all problems will be solved for them. In time, children can go from saying, "I can't do that," to "I can't do that - YET!".
Many thanks to our West PTC for making the presentation happen! To view the full presentation, please click here.