Resilience Can Be Taught

Emotional resilience is about ‘bouncing back’ from what life throws at you. It’s about being strong inside and able to adapt well to changes and difficulties that may happen to you.

When I was told that my son, Sam, had various disabilities including Tourette’s syndrome we were given the appropriate medications and integrated into services such as a special school, visually impaired services, and so on. However I noticed that Sam was never really supported when it came to his emotional resilience. It’s an easy mistake to make if you think having your medical needs met means your emotional needs will also be met, as this is not always the case. I think that’s when it dawned on me that I had to take on a much bigger role in supporting Sam with his emotional resilience and mental well-being.

Sam is now 14 and one of the challenges I have faced bringing him up was trying to make sure he understood he had a role to play in his own emotional resilience, and giving him the tools to do this. Nobody is born confident with good emotional resilience but it can be learned and that is why I have written the book: “Second Chances: a young person’s guide to emotional resilience” The book is designed to give young people some tools to help them stay strong when things might seem tough. Not only that, but the book has also been co-written by young people that have faces their own challenges.

I want to remind young people that no matter how you are feeling or where you are in your life, right now you can start to make better choices and decisions that will help you achieve more and reach your goals and dreams.
For example, you make a better choice today to:

 Distract yourself instead of giving in to your temper.
 Take one second longer to think before you say something that might hurt someone.
 Do something nice for a friend or family member.
 Learn a new skill.

Just doing one of these things can have a dramatically positive effect on your day and the way you feel about yourself, which can only be a good thing, right?
I know sometimes it can be hard not to feel angry about the things that might be happening to you or how some people treat you, but the problem with giving into angry thoughts and actions is that it keeps you stuck in the same head-space, and nothing really gets better.

This book is not written by someone who has all the answers, I don’t! Nor is it about constantly having to be positive. Rather it is about how to live with yourself and take care of your mental health and emotional resilience. You may be at the start of your young life or somewhere in the middle, but no matter how you are feeling you can give yourself a second chance, a chance to choose to do things differently.

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