One of the foundational capabilities in our Growth Mindset series is Resilience. This capability is so crucial, because if a child is resilient they will persevere when they find something tough. Children (and adults) will always encounter things they find difficult in learning and in life. Being dogged, determined and resilient allows us to work through the difficulty, keep striving and ultimately succeed rather than give up and fail. It can be an absolute game changer in life!
What is Resilience?
Resilience can be described as the ability to work through difficulties you encounter, rather than giving up at the first sign of struggle. Interestingly, when talking about a physical material, it’s resilience is described as the ability to spring back into shape – elasticity. It is this ‘bounceback-ability’ when children find something challenging and the willingness to start again that is an incredibly powerful capability. We all know ‘tryers’ in life – those people that face setbacks but get themselves back up and try again and then again! This perseverance and grit is a quality we admire in adults and children alike and we know this attitude will get us where we need to be.
Inspiration for Sadie
Our Cape Ability story for Resilience is ‘Don’t Give Up, Sadie Spider.’ Sadie is actually named after a little girl who was in my class. We were working as a class on how to become better learners. She had seen a spider in her garden who had built its web between the bins. Every time the bin moved it was broken, but that persistent spider kept on re-building its web. My pupil recognised this as an admirable learning quality and coined the phrase, Try, try, try to catch that fly!’ and Sadie Spider was born!
Any Skill is Attainable with Resilience
‘Try, try, try to catch that fly!’ is Sadie’s mantra in this story. We must give the message to our children that any skill is attainable to them if they have this attitude. When they find something difficult, show them that you believe they can do it if they keep trying – rather than doing it for them. This is difficult if you are in a rush and your child is, for example, struggling to get dressed but in every situation if you persevere in developing their independence, they will be so proud of themselves! They will be recognising they can work through hard things. They will want to ‘try, try, try’ on the next occasion.
However, like Sadie Spider’s mother in the story – you are there in the background – ready to step in and encourage, if needs be. Using phrases like, ‘Don’t worry, try again – I know you can do it,’ or ‘Why not try a different way?’ ‘What have you not thought of?’ ‘Do you need me to explain how to do it?’ ‘What did you try last time?’
Check out our next article to learn more about the Cape Ability approach.