Our Resilient Family

I’m going to share with you a valuable tip on how to teach your young ones to be more resilient and to help them become braver, tougher, and stronger in challenging situations. Growing up, I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with my grandparents, who would often share their fascinating War Stories with me. They were evacuee children during their youth, torn away from their families and sent to live with strangers in less-than-ideal circumstances. My Nan, in particular, came from a large family and was separated from her siblings, but she never gave up. She made several daring escape attempts and even travelled across the country on her own by train. On the other hand, my Grandad became a firefighter during the war, bravely extinguishing fires caused by pulled grenade pins.

Listening to these incredible stories over the years, I realized that they have unconsciously taught me the strength and resilience that runs in our family. It made me believe that I, too, possess that same inner strength. These stories have shown me that I have the power to overcome any challenge, even ones I may never encounter in my lifetime. But if I ever do face such difficulties, I know that I have the DNA within me to conquer them.

That’s why I suggest that you, as a parent, guardian, or grandparent, take a moment to reflect on your family history. It holds valuable lessons and inspiration that can help young individuals build resilience.

The things that have posed challenges throughout the years can truly strike a chord with the younger generation you’re addressing. It could be a tale about yourself or someone they know, but hearing about how familiar individuals have triumphed over adversity takes inspiration to a whole new level. It encourages these young minds to recognise that they possess the same resilience in their DNA.

When I reflect on the trials and tribulations I have faced, it pales in comparison to what my grandparents endured. I wonder if, one day, we’ll recount stories of the lockdown period. Will we talk about the great lockdown we all experienced and how we managed to persevere? Although we may have indulged in a few too many biscuits, it’s crucial to seek out stories of inspiration wherever we can. And those stories that involve someone we know hold an even deeper significance.

In fact, there may be personalised challenges that don’t necessarily revolve around emotional situations but rather practical circumstances. For instance, many individuals encounter financial hardships when they embark on early relationships or start a young family. These financial struggles can ignite a spark of creativity within you. I vividly remember my parents discussing a time when all they could afford was baked beans or tuna pasta bake. That was the extent of their budget, yet they managed to make the most of it by finding innovative ways to live off meagre amounts. Their resourcefulness was truly inspiring.

Resilience stories have a way of inspiring us, filling us with positivity, and igniting our curiosity and inner strength to take control of our own circumstances. It’s important to consider how we can influence the young people in our lives by sharing stories from history, especially their personal histories and the experiences of those around them. Even from their earliest days, they may have faced challenges, like being in a special care baby unit, but they fought against all odds to survive. You can share with them how they overcame those adversities, not only making them feel good about themselves but also adding a touch of humour and interest to the narrative.

There will inevitably be moments from their own past that you can draw upon. Perhaps the time they got frustrated because they couldn’t take their first steps, or when they stumbled over a particular word they wanted to say. These anecdotes provide a comfortable and relatable way to convey the message that they are resilient and capable of persevering.

You can make these stories not only captivating but also lighthearted and funny. By doing so, the development of resilience becomes an enjoyable journey, rather than a daunting task of becoming stronger and tougher. It becomes liberating, with a sense of freedom. We are constantly curious, learning, and evolving, finding our way in the world, and all of this contributes to building resilience. So, let’s reflect on how we can use our own history to create a brighter and stronger future for the young generation.

By Gemma Bailey

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