Developing resilience is essential for children so that they may succeed in life. The Bounce Back Acronym developed by McGrath and Noble (2017) is a handy way to identify and remember the essential skills and concepts children need to be resilient and cope in life.
The key messages of BOUNCE BACK are outlined below:
Bad times don’t last. Things always get better. Stay optimistic.
Other people can help if you talk to them. Get a reality check.
Unhelpful thinking makes you feel more upset. Think again.
Nobody is perfect – not you and not others.
Concentrate on the positives (no matter how small) and use laughter.
Everybody experiences sadness, hurt, failure, rejection and setbacks sometimes, not just you. It’s a normal part of life.
Blame fairly. How much of what happened was due to you, to others and to bad luck or circumstances?
Accept what can’t be changed (but try to change what you can change first).
Catastrophising exaggerates your worries. Don’t believe the worst possible picture.
Keep things in perspective. It’s only part of your life.
As parents we can target each of these key messages and look for opportunities to teach them and foster their growth in our children. When we do, are children are more likely to be able to bend and move with whatever life throws at them rather than breaking at the first hit. This is what we need our children to do in order to flourish in their lives.
Children who are more resilient are less likely to develop mental health problems, have better school results and are less likely to have physical health problems. The best thing about resilience is that it can be learnt, nurtured and developed. And as such all children have the chance to develop these outcomes.
At Cassidy Psychology we offer a 6-week Bounce Back program for children aged 8 to 10 where we target each of these concepts and teach children the skills they need to be resilient. We also provide weekly information to parents to keep building on their child’s resilience skills at home.
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