Building Resilience in Children

Our teachers focus on resilience as a life skill to help students realise that if they can respond to challenges and setbacks, and bounce back, they will be healthier, happier people.

Resilient children are prepared for life’s challenges, so it is important that this is taught in schools.

Put simply, resilience is the ability to adapt when faced with difficulty, trauma, or tragedy. We all demonstrate resilience throughout our lives. While some people may be more resilient than others, it is a skill that can be learned and developed by anyone.

In our Junior School, we use The Bucket Filler Program to assist our students in developing their resilience. The bucket represents one’s mental and emotional self. When a child is aware of how to fill their bucket and that of others, they recognise how to be resilient when faced with situations where their bucket has been dipped into.

When a bucket is empty, it contains few, if any, positive thoughts or feelings. A child can easily become sad, negative, insecure, nervous, angry, depressed, stressed, worried, afraid, or physically ill as a result.

When children experience any of these feelings, it's easy to believe that life is too challenging and that nothing they attempt will be successful. An empty bucket affects a child’s behaviour and causes them to express emotions in a way that shows an inability to cope and bounce back.

When a child’s bucket is full, they feel more confident, secure, calm, patient, and friendly. Their thoughts are positive through the use of positive self-talk to move past the challenges being faced. When the child's bucket is overflowing, they experience an intense happiness that assists them in handling any situation.

Our Bucket Filler Program aims to assist students to build their resilience by:

  1. Making connections
  2. Helping our children to help others
  3. Teaching a child self-care
  4. Nurturing a positive self-view
  5. Keeping things in perspective and maintaining a hopeful outlook.

Next time your child is feeling discouraged by a new challenge you can use these tips to help them turn a negative experience into a positive one. Filling your child's bucket with positive self talk and reminders of their skills will start building their resilience now and help them rebuild for the future.

You can read more about building resilience from Beyond Blue here.