Resilience - A Parent Guide

Created by Christian Moore & the brilliant WHY TRY Team.

The Parent Guide to Resilience

Per Ardua Ad Astra

"From Difficulties to the Stars"

A Parent’s Guide to Resilience

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Resilience

Christian Moore the creator of WHY TRY and his Briliant team has developed...

"THE PARENT GUIDE TO RESILIENCE"


It is indeed an amazing, relevant resource for all parents and educators, let alone ourselves as we journey through difficulties to the stars... (Per Ardua Ad Astra)


I have had the honor to work with Christian Moore on a National level with the National Alternative Education Association, and on a personal level, as I call him a friend and brother.


Christian is indeed a man of honor and servant leadership.


All of his staff follow that same ethos and this curriculum is a life changer.


The curriculum is brilliant, but without you using it it is nothing...


May the links empower us all.


Virtus Et Scientia / Virtue and Education


Richard Kerry Thompson / Mr. T

Principal

Greater Heights Academy

Flint, Michigan U.S.A.

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Overview

This webpage consists of snippets of the entire curriculum, please journey into any of the ten and the links provided to dig deeper into the brilliant resources at hand...

The purpose of this Parent’s Guide is to help you increase resilience in yourself as well as in your children. The definition of resilience and the skills and attributes for developing it will become clear in future chapters. We know you’re busy. Raising a family is no easy task. So we’ve organized the chapters to make them easier to read – even skim if you need to.

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Each chapter contains the following components:

  • Definitions to help you better understand terms that might be unfamiliar to you.
  • Examples and stories to show you how other families have used the skills of resilience.
  • Personal reflection to help you personally apply the concepts in this guide to your own life, family, and daily experiences.
  • Ideas for discussing resilience with your child. Resilience will probably be a new word in your child’s vocabulary. You can use this section to teach resilience to your children in simple and easy ways.

TEN STEPS

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1. Start with the Relationship

Start with the Relationship How do you create lasting change and motivation in a child, particularly when times are hard or the child is resistant to your efforts? This isn’t always easy and may look different with each child and situation, but the starting point is always the same: start with the relationship.

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1. Start with the Relationship

How do you create lasting change and motivation in a child, particularly when times are hard or the child is resistant to your efforts? This isn’t always easy and may look different with each child and situation, but the starting point is always the same: start with the relationship.

Here are four ways to create a resilient family environment:

  • Spend quality time with your child
  • Focus on what your child is doing right
  • Listen to your child
  • Create unity

Praise the effort, not the result.

Praise the effort, not the result.

Even if you don’t see results from your child’s effort, praise them for trying hard. For example, if, after studying hard, they get a bad grade on a test, don’t be afraid to praise the work your child put in. Try to turn on your radar for catching your children doing something right, even if it’s a small thing, and especially when you’ve had a rough day and wouldn’t normally notice these positives. Also, pay attention to how you feel when you do this. It’s a small effort with a potentially large reward.

Give undivided attention.

Give undivided attention.

When your child is ready to talk to you about something important, it’s not always going to be a convenient time. Undivided attention means that in those moments, you’re willing to drop whatever you’re doing – look up from whatever screen is in front of you – and tune in to your child. Make eye contact. Communicate with your body language, “I am here for you, I love you, I am listening.” In addition to these spontaneous moments of conversation, set aside time out of your own busy schedule to talk to your child. Make it an outing, if possible.

Paraphrase back.

Paraphrase back.

One simple but effective way to show that we’re listening is to paraphrase what the child has said and then ask if we got it right. For example, our child might say, “I hate my math teacher; he doesn’t like me and never answers my questions!” Instead of rushing in with advice on how to deal with the math teacher, you could say something like, “You sound pretty frustrated with your math class. Tell me more about why you think your teacher doesn’t like you.” This sets the stage for the child to continue to share, earning the child’s trust and opening up a dialogue for true problem solving to occur.

Show empathy.

Show empathy.

When listening to your child, accept that while the topic at hand might not interest you, it is important to your child and should, therefore, be treated as important. Similar to the paraphrasing exercise above, you can demonstrate empathy by stating back the emotion that you’re seeing: “I’m guessing you’re feeling pretty disappointed about not making the team,” or “I bet you’re pretty angry right now about our no-sleepover rule. It can be a hard feeling left out of what everyone else is doing.” This softens the conversation for you to calmly explain your own reasons and feelings: “Your mother and I made a decision long ago that a rule like this was important for keeping our children safe.”

1. Start with the Relationship

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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2. Building a Resilient Family

Building a Resilient Family -The ability to bounce back when you have every reason to shut down – but you fight on! Resilient people have both tapped and untapped reserves, enabling them to thrive as they face the setbacks, challenges, and fears of daily life.

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2. Building a Resilient Family

Working Toward a Resilient Mindset. The objective of this parent’s guide is to help you develop a resilient mindset. It will give you tools to help your kids do the same. A resilient mindset means that in the face of a personal or family challenge, you find a way to thrive instead of shutting down and giving up.

Think about some of the challenges you’re currently facing in your family. If you knew how to bounce back from them – even how to see them as fuel for resilience and a better life – how would that affect your family culture? Do you think you’d be able to address your challenges more effectively? To start off, we need to understand resilience.

  1. Read the definition of resilience at the beginning of this chapter and share or write down what it means to each of you.
  2. Talk about your observations. If completing this activity with your partner, tell your partner about a time when you’ve noticed that they were resilient. What was the situation? How did they respond? What benefits did you observe as a result of your partner choosing to respond resiliently? If you’re a single parent, answer this question for yourself. What are some times you’ve been resilient in the face of challenges? What were the benefits?
  3. Now think about your children. What are some examples of times you’ve noticed each of your children responding to adversity in a resilient way?
  4. Next, write down the names of each family member and brainstorm challenges or difficulties they’re facing. Don’t try to cover everything; just come up with two or three situations for each person where resilience could make a difference.
2. Building a Resilient Family

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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3. Flip the Switch

Flipping the Switch: When you flip the switch, you stop for a moment, realize you can turn pain into power, and move forward, committed to being resilient.

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3. Flip the Switch

Flipping the switch Flipping the switch requires taking action.


But how does a parent create an atmosphere in his or her family that enables each member to bounce back and thrive in light of the setbacks they encounter. Flipping on the resilience switch allows someone facing adversity to see his or her circumstances in an entirely new light requires taking action. But how does a parent create an atmosphere in his or her family that enables each member to bounce back and thrive in light of the setbacks they encounter. Flipping on the resilience switch allows someone facing adversity to see his or her circumstances in an entirely new light

  1. Know you have a switch. You’ve got to believe in your ability to see your problem differently before you can take steps to do so.
  2. Combat denial and acknowledge the problem. This means we turn the light on the situation and accept it for what it is. As a case study, let’s say that you and your partner argue frequently over the family budget. Step 2 in that situation would mean acknowledging the specific problem you’re having with your spouse at that moment: that you’re not seeing eye to eye on finances and your differences of opinion are making both of you upset.
  3. Ask the Flip the Switch Question. When you as the spouse in this situation flip the switch, you might see the conflict as a reason to work harder to come up with a solution together. You might stop arguing your position and ask yourself what needs to be done to get the conversation into problem-solving mode.
    The conversation might look less hurtful and more like you saying, “We clearly both see things differently. Why don’t you share your thoughts, I’ll listen carefully, and then I’ll share mine. Then maybe we can work out a solution we’re both happy with. What do you think?”
  4. Notice how you feel after flipping the switch. This is the payoff. Did the respectful and solution-focused approach make for a better discussion than if you had gotten defensive and raised your voice? Do you have more energy, optimism, enthusiasm, hope, or motivation? Are you thinking more clearly? Identifying any emotional payoff can serve as motivation to flip the switch again.
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3. Flip the Switch

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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4. Emotional Fuel

Emotional Fuel: Everyone experiences a wide range of emotions. Both “positive” and “negative” emotions can be used as fuel to increase resilience – you just have to know the fuel is there and how to access it.

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4. Emotional Fuel

Think about a car battery. When it dies, you can’t charge it with just a positive or negative connection alone – you need both. Similarly, both “positive” and “negative” emotions can be used as fuel for resilience if we learn how to channel them.

“Negative” emotions tend to get a bad rap, but think about it: emotions like fear can lead to strength, survival, and readiness. Anger can create energy, conviction, and dignity. Grief can give you empathy for others who are dealing with something similar. The emotions we generally perceive as “negative” aren’t always bad, they’re a part of everyday life, so we may as well learn how to do something productive with them.

Applying the Battery as a Parent


Think back to a moment in the last few weeks or months that made you particularly angry, stressed, anxious, or sad. How did you view those emotions? How did you deal with them?


The first step in getting positive energy from this “battery” is to stop looking at emotions like the ones above as “bad” Anger doesn’t feel good, sadness isn’t “fun,” but these emotions give us energy for resilience as much as “positive” emotions like joy and love – maybe even more!


So let’s unpack the emotion you felt recently. Maybe your response was to shut down, give up, or lash out – to be destructive rather than productive. That’s to be expected. But now rewind. Go back to that emotional moment. What could have been done differently to harness the energy of that emotion in a productive way?

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4. Emotional Fuel

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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5. Relational Resilience

Relational Resilience: When you have Relational Resilience, you know people are depending on you. And you are depending on others. You draw strength from the emotional support of friends, family members, deceased loved ones, pets, or even a stranger who smiles your way.

5. Relational Resilience

Relational Resilience is not just for parents – research demonstrates the importance of giving children meaningful roles for which they alone are responsible. This helps them feel like someone is depending on them, and it can improve behavior and increase resilience. Jobs that can help your child feel counted on include:


  • Feeding or walking a pet
  • Watering a plant
  • Doing yard work
  • Doing laundry
  • Planning and preparing a meal once a week
  • Taking over an aspect of care for younger siblings (like throwing away diapers, reading a bedtime story, or teaching a specific skill)
  • Washing the dishes
  • Helping a parent get information from the Internet, or giving other technological support

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5. Relational Resilience

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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6. Street Resilience

Street Resilience: When you have Street Resilience, you take the pain of disrespect, discrimination, and regret and use it as fuel to propel you forward. You direct your hurt and anger toward a cause rather than an individual.

6. Street Resilience

Building a Street Resilient Family

The truth is, we will all face disrespect, discrimination, or the pain of mistake-making at some point in our lives. It’s vital, then, that we are not only prepared to channel our own experiences into productive outcomes but that we can help our children learn this skill as well. Here are some ideas:

When your children face disrespect – a school bully, a teacher who doesn’t like them, an unkind friend – sit down and talk about those emotions.

Be empathetic as your child processes their anger about the experience, and let him/her know that it’s normal and OK to feel that way. Then comes the tricky part. Discuss with your child different options to respond to the disrespect. For a child who’s being bullied, you might arrange a meeting with the teacher or administrator. Talk about what can be done and how you can prevent it from happening to other children. To improve a relationship with a teacher, talk to your child about ways they can go the extra mile to show their teacher they really care about the class. This part will require creativity but will help your child be prepared to meet larger challenges and instances of discrimination.

6. Street Resilience

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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7. Resource Resilience

Resource Resilience: Your resilience can be increased by tapping into the resources you currently possess or could potentially possess. You maximize your talents, mindset, abilities, relationships, money, physical assets, and personality traits. You also realize that you have undeveloped talents and untapped capabilities that you can use or develop. And as you proactively acquire and build upon your resources, you become increasingly resilient.

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7. Resource Resilience

What Are Your Resources?

Take a moment to think about – even write down – the resources you possess in life that help you with your parenting. Having trouble? Let’s break it down:




If you’re a working parent, what skills do you possess that help you thrive in a career that supports your family?

What skills at home contribute to your success as a parent? Your ability to cook, do laundry, unclog a toilet, or change a diaper are all resources.

How has money and a budget benefited your family?

What services do you have access to that help you or your children? Think about medical care, the education system, after-school groups, public parks, school lunch programs, counseling services, the local library, public transportation, community sports, church groups, etc.

Have you ever used Google to solve a parenting problem?

7. Resource Resilience

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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8. Rock Bottom Resilience

Rock Bottom Resilience: Whether you’re at the actual worst moment in your life or are simply “bottoming out,” you have the ability to Flip the Switch at your lowest point. You believe in your ability to change your circumstances, find hope, and fight on. You believe in potential unforeseen options even during your most difficult times. You become increasingly aware that losing in the past does not mean you must lose in the future.

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8. Rock Bottom Resilience

Characteristics of Rock Bottom Resilience

Think about the people in your life. Or, you could even think about people in the media who have been resilient in the face of rock bottom moments. Most likely, they exhibited some of the following characteristics of Rock Bottom Resilience:

You combat hopelessness.


How do you avoid sinking into despair when things have gone terribly wrong? One approach is to call into action the other three sources of resilience. Use Relational Resilience by turning to the people who care about and support you, or pressing forward because of the children who depend on you. Pull out Street Resilience to use any anger or sorrow from the situation as fuel. Resource Resilience can help you take a close look at the tools or potential tools you can use to bounce back.

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8. Rock Bottom Resilience

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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9. Power of a Future Promise

The Power of a Future Promise We can help our kids to set goals and work towards fulfilling a future promise. That future promise should include a vision of things they may be interested for college or career focus. Focusing on goals and the future helps us tap into hope. Hope is a vital ingredient in individuals that are resilient. A future promise is one of our most important sources of resilience.

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9. Power of a Future Promise

To Prepare Your Children…

Families that are successfully preparing their children to be productive adults understand some important concepts. First, they understand that resilience matters. Children that learn to be resilient carry it with them into adulthood. And, since challenges are inevitable, resilience is important for the transition into adulthood.

Finding the balance of being supportive, but also encouraging independence, can be difficult. Sometimes, we need to allow kids space to try to work through challenges on their own. Rather than immediately helping out, we can give them time to come up with solutions on their own. Simple practices, like asking children to solve their own problems, can build their confidence. For example, if a child presents you with a problem or difficult situation, you can turn it back around. You can ask:

“what do you think some possible solutions might be?”

Encourage your kids to participate in their problem-solving. Take the role of a supportive collaborator rather than the main problem solver. By the time kids get to high school, they can be very adept at problem-solving. They will realize that they can do hard things, and their confidence and sense of optimism will grow. They are developing resilience by becoming resourceful and not giving up easily.

9. Power of a Future Promise

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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10. Self Grace

Self-Grace: Recognize that you are human. Don’t fear failure, embrace it. It’s inevitable. When you feel you’ve failed, forgive yourself and keep moving forward. Realize that you’ll never be perfect, but because you’re constantly in the mindset of forgiving yourself, you don’t get stuck in the resilience-killing rut of self-contempt.

10. Self Grace

The Seven Keys to Self-Grace

Self-grace is different from self-tolerance or self-forgiveness. It doesn’t have conditions. Whatever you’ve done, wherever you’re standing, your family will be more likely to thrive if you allow self-grace into your life. This becomes easier when you do seven things:

10. Self Grace

Please click here for the full curriculum by Christian Moore and the Why Try Team

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