Bouncing Back

Our counsellor newsletter from Linda Campbell, School Counsellor, School District 57
JANUARY 2013                            Bouncing Back


Tips and Tools for:     
Teaching Your Child Resilience
Building Relationships with Teens
Great websites for Kids and Teens
Community Resources


  • Teaching your child resilience
Childhood is a time of exploration and trying new behaviours. Rather than trying to remove life’s challenges, we need to support our children to develop self-confidence, skills and abilities that make them resilient. Developing these skills will benefit children as they move into adolescence and adulthood.


What is Resiliency?
Resilience means the ability to overcome and bounce back from change or from difficult life events. A person that is resilient is able to learn from their experiences, and apply this knowledge and coping skills to other situations. The more resiliency factors your child has, the more likely he or she will be able to resist negative influences.


The school years present children with countless challenges, setbacks, failures, and general difficulties. Resilient children withstand the pressures that school provides more effectively than children who are not resilient.
Resilience is being able to bounce back from difficult times, setbacks, and other significant challenges. It includes being able to deal effectively with pressure, and get through tough times with good outcomes.  Parents play a substantial role in the development of resilience in their children. The following eight tips outline the most effective things you can do to raise resilient kids.

Listen with your heart
Listening is one of the most important ways that we can build resilience. While children are upset, sensitive listening provides emotional first aid.  Listening with your heart allows you to be empathic, take your child’s perspective, or see the world through his or her eyes.


See the world through your child’s eyes


Reflect their emotions and avoid advice or lectures. I can see it’s been a tough day for you today.
Wow, that must have made you feel really disappointed.  When they know you understand them, ask them how they think you can help. Let them strategise the most effective way to overcome their challenges and support them in their decisions or guide them toward appropriate actions.


Accept your children for who they are
Your child is likely to be resilient if she feels accepted for who she is.
In contrast, children whose parents affirm their children’s efforts feel useful. When children are validated they feel worthy and acceptable as people. And they are also likely to work hard to maintain those positive feelings, which means when they encounter setbacks they will have the confidence to try again.
Letting children know specifically what you love about them or why you are proud of them can bolster resilience.I am so proud to be your mum. The way you treated the children outside the school this afternoon made me feel like the luckiest mum in the world!  This is meaningless and But when we let our children know we accept and love them, and offer them specifics, they feel like they can conquer anything!
Our children don’t need to fixed as much as they need to be loved.


Develop strengths
One of the best things for promoting resilience is a belief that we are competent and able to complete difficult challenges. They will be inspired and confident. They will gain a sense that they have something to offer the world.  Maddie, a seven year-old, had trouble with reading and writing. But her parents and teachers noticed her love for drawing. They encouraged Maddie to draw by displaying her art in the classroom and at home. Maddie’s strengths ensured she was not defined by her weaknesses in reading.
Your child may possess strengths in relationships, academics, music, sport, creativity, curiosity, or any number of other areas. By developing those strengths, inspiration, competence, and confidence will build resilience in your child.


Teach that mistakes are an opportunity to learn
When your children make a mistake, what do they do? And perhaps more importantly, what do you say to them?  When we have a learning orientation we see setbacks and failures as opportunities for mastery. By teaching our children that continued effort, practice, and learning are the keys to success, setbacks are no longer seen as frightening, and children become more resilient  willing to take risks and try new things.
They are also more likely to look forward to possibilities in the future and have a more optimistic and curious nature. This mindset is strongly linked to resilience.


Promote responsibility by giving responsibilities
Many parents say of their irresponsible children, I want my child to be responsible but I simply can’t trust her to do what I ask.  They are unwilling to give the child any responsibilities because they fear the child will not be responsible.Lectures will not promote responsibility. Instead, responsibility comes from opportunities to be responsible, a chance to help, and by being part of a family that is involved in doing things for others.


Teach your children to make their own decisions
When our children struggle, we often want to tell them what to do to fix things. Constantly making decisions for our children can undermine their decision making skills and confidence.
When you child is faced with a problem, listen with your heart. Then see the world through his eyes. When he feels understood, ask the question:  What do YOU think we should do?
Let your child know that you are willing to help and support. Then invite him or her to make a decision, and be supportive. If a decision is poor, offer gentle guidance or ask, I wonder what might happen if we did that.As your child thinks through the various possibilities, he will gain confidence in making his own decisions following challenging situations.


Discipline, but don’t denigrate
Children will make lots of mistakes, even when trying their best. When our children do things that are wrong, we can focus on teaching them rather than punishing them. Often the most effective way to teach is to invite our children to think about what they have learned from a particular situation. We can then ask them to make decisions about the most appropriate course of action, such as apologizing, making restitution, and refraining from doing what they have done again in the future.
Children who are resilient do better than children who are not resilient. Their parents use the skills outlined above to foster resilience, and as a result resilient children:
  •                 feel special and appreciated
  •                 learn to set realistic goals
  •                 have appropriate expectations of themselves
  •                 and others believe they can solve problems and make good decisions
  •                 see weaknesses as a chance to learn and do things better
  •                 recognize, develop, and enjoy their strengths and talents
  •                 believe they are competent comfortable with others
  •                 have good interpersonal skills
  •                 and most of all, resilient kids bounce back!  By Justin Coulson |
Don’t forget to check out the above attachments!


Find more stories about emotional resilience for children:  
                Teaching emotional resilience to boys
                Teaching emotional resilience to girls


Online Resources for Kids and Teens.  Great!


In this section…
  • Make regular deposits in your teen’s emotional bank account and reap the rewards of a solid relationship.
Here’s a concept that is powerful in its ability to direct your behavior in ways that enhance your relationship with your teenager. Are you familiar with the concept of the emotional bank account? This refers to the amount of trust that is developed between two people. You make a deposit in your daughter’s emotional bank account when you share pleasant time together and when you express thoughtfulness, kindness, courtesy, honesty and sensitivity to her feelings. You make withdrawals from her account by overreacting, treating her with disrespect, ignoring her, betraying her trust.


It can be the littlest things: biting your tongue when he does something wrong, picking him up from school and offering a quick trip thru McDonalds because you know he is starving, bringing a cup of hot chocolate to her while she is studying for her math test, staying up late to listen without judgment about her latest troubles with her friend. Even a well-timed smile.


As you face difficulties with your teen, and this is bound to happen, your ability to weather the storms together will be directly impacted by the amount of value that has been built up in the emotional bank account you share. And you have to know, you can’t make withdrawals from an empty account without negatively impacting your relationship. So focus on building up that bank account  and watch your relationship blossom.


Community Resources for Parents and Kids….
Youth Support Line
Crisis Prevention, Intervention and Information Center for Northern BC. Confidential anonymous peer support for youth. 24 hours/day; 7 days/week.


Workshops at Carrier Secani Tribal Council
The Program is open to Aboriginal Youth aged 16-29. We host a coaching workshop once every 3 months. This Fall we are working with Pacific Northern Sport and doing a Competition Introduction Workshop. it is a 2 day weekend course. The training is free. Call Allen Billy @ 250-562-6279 ext 231 abilly@cstc.bc. We have a Sports training program open to all Aboriginal Youth in Prince George aged 16-29. We host various sport related workshops every 3 months. Run Jump Throw, ACM, Chomp Intro are examples. Workshops are free to attend. To register contact: 250- 562-6279 or


Active Parenting for Stepfamilies
The program will run for 6 weeks on Wednesday evenings from 7-9, held at the CDC beginning on January 16 2013. Cost: free Child-minding will be provided if needed. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Call the CDC to register. Contacts: Lorinda Johnston 250-563- 7168 ext 210 or Colleen Soares 250-563-7168 ext 228


Charlotte Diamond in concert: February 2nd, 2012 4:00pm at Vanier Hall Tickets $15.00 for adults & $10.00 for children, children 2 and under free. Tickets can be purchased at Studio 2880


Native Healing Centers 2013 Health Fair ‘Healthy Communities- Healthy Families’ 2 DAY EVENT! Thursday, Jan 31, and Friday, February 1st, (which is a  Pro D Day…) J To our Agency providers and the children, youth, elders and families we all work with! 2 Days dedicated to build connections within the community, support our families and create a safe place for learning, fun and friendships!
Registration form is attached.If you have any questions and or want to register your Table or register clients for workshops, please contact the Native Healing Center or email at

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