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5 Steps Closer To A More Resilient Teen

The Huffington Post – Daniel Patterson

“There’s a picture currently going viral; a simple sign taped to the door of a school in Arkansas. It reads, “Stop! If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment etc., please TURN AROUND and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.” While extremely blunt, the sign accurately summarizes a growing frustration in education: the saturation of overly-involved high school parents. These parents regularly meddle in, fix, engineer and master-mind their teens’ daily lives. They intercept teachable moments from the hands of their children thereby preventing the acquisition of a much-needed life skill: resiliency. Developing resiliency is like riding a bike: difficult to master, but impossible to forget. Even as years pass between bike rides, the brain easily recalls how to proceed. The same holds true with resiliency; developed early, it can be effectively utilized in adulthood. But just like riding a bike, it takes practice. High school is crucial in the process of resiliency development; it’s an opportunity for teens to experience grit-producing scenarios. When denied such formative experiences, life’s future challenges are forever exacerbated by its absence.”(more)

5 Powerful Strategies That Help Children Grow Braver And More Confident

Forbes – Kathy Caprino

“In my years as a marriage and family therapist, I worked with many families in trauma, and witnessed first-hand how afraid so many children are – of being alone, of dealing with sad things, of disappointing their families, of not having friends, of being ostracized, abandoned or humiliated, and the list goes on. These deep fears, it turns out, are universal and shared by millions. In addition, these fears can stay with us (and grow larger and more unwieldy) throughout our adult lives unless we’re guided, trained and encouraged to look at our fears and address them with more bravery, courage, and awareness…I was thrilled to catch up this week with Avril McDonald, a former teacher and an expert in helping children develop bravery in the face of challenge…I think that what we are missing is bringing it [bravery] to the forefront of early education by innovating and creating great resources for parents and teachers to be able to help young children build emotional intelligence, resilience and to love, accept and understand themselves and others…Here are the most powerful tips I can offer:”(more)

Top 10 things middle school students need to thrive, and how parents can help

News-JournalOnline.com – Phyllis L. Fagell

“There is no manual to develop “soft” skills like perseverance and resilience. Just as I did, most kids learn through trial and error. As parents, our quest to protect our children can be at odds with their personal growth. It can feel counter-intuitive, but we mainly need to take a step back. I have come to believe that certain social emotional skills are particularly useful as kids navigate middle school and beyond. Here are my top 10 skills, and ways parents can help without getting in the way.”(more)

Learning About Struggles of Famous Scientists May Help Students Succeed in Science

American Psychological Association – Xiaodong Lin-Siegler

“High school students may improve their science grades by learning about the personal struggles and failed experiments of great scientists such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association…“When kids think Einstein is a genius who is different from everyone else, then they believe they will never measure up,” said lead researcher Xiaodong Lin-Siegler, PhD. “Many students don’t realize that all successes require a long journey with many failures along the way.”…The study suggests that science textbooks should highlight the struggles of great scientists and provide more vivid narrative descriptions of the techniques that scientists used to overcome challenges…”(more)

Around the World in 30 Days – December 2015

The Huffington Post – C. M. Rubin

“Has there ever been a time when an education framework for 21st century competencies was more important? What should world citizens learn in an age of Google, Robots, Climate Change, Increased Migration, Radicalism and Inter-connected Economies?…More homework does not necessarily mean students are learning the critical skills that will help them to succeed in the world, such as “resilience, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.”…Many believe the new competencies needed to tackle the global issues will be harder to measure. Will education systems be ready, willing and able to make the changes needed?”(more)