I am a firm believer in the old adage that things happen for a reason. This week I stumbled across a file of my favorite quotes on parenting. The one that resonated with me most was this one: “I want my children to understand that there are many chances for them to succeed, but whether they succeed or not depends on the sort of person each decides to be, whether or not they keep trying when faced with challenges, mistakes and hard work.”
Later that day, I ran into a friend and we took a few minutes to catch up on our kids. It was mutually agreed upon that our teenagers were driving us mad. The madness, for both of us, stemmed from the frantic evenings at home coaching and supporting our soon-to-be graduates and the stresses they both were facing as senior year comes to a close and they prepare to fly off to college. Later on that evening, I sat down to catch up on my work reading and came across this article on resilience and what makes children succeed in the face of adverse times. Divine intervention or just perfect providence? Either way, the article came just at the right time. Here is the link for you, in case it appeals to you as well: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/reports_and_working_papers/working
The most important point that the author makes is this- children who do well in the face of adversity typically exhibit both an intrinsic resistance to problems and strong relationships with the important adults in their family and community. It is the interaction between biology and environment that builds capacities to cope with adversity and overcome threats to healthy development.
So, clearly, the most important thing to take away (I hope you read the entire article- it was full of promise for helping our kids) is that we adults must communicate to our children through our words and actions that we believe in and care about them and we will remain by their sides. “Children need our love most when they seem to deserve it the least.”