According to our friends over at Oxford it is:
The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
Sounds pretty good to me. Interestingly, use of the term has increased in recent years. Take a look:
I can't say why, but I can conjecture that it's a quality we are looking for more and more. Is it because it's lacking, or because we realize it's importance? I'll leave that conjecture up to you.
When it comes to educating kids to be well-rounded martial artists and raising them to be good adults, we want them to be resilient.
We want them to happy, healthy and successful. And, we know that the world, and their lives won't be unicorns and rainbows all the time.
We want them to be able to face their fears, overcome their limits, handle adversity and most importantly be able cope when we are not there to hold their hand or brace their fall.
This is best summed as resilience.
Here are a variety of ways that you can help the children in your lives to develop resilience.
From Harvard University(1):
- Facilitate Supportive Adult-Child Relationships
- Give them a sense of Self-Efficacy and Control
- Give them opportunities to strengthen adaptive skills and self-regulation
- Demonstrating mobilizing nature of faith, hope and/or cultural traditions
From Dr. Cal Crow (2):
- Support a healthy lifestyle - Sufficient sleep and exercise are essential components of a healthy mind and body, providing a needed reserve and capacity for coping with challenges
- Teach them to learn from mistakes and failures. Reward the performance rather than the result and teach them to search for the lesson in the "loss"
- Give them ways to build self confidence. This can be done by breaking large, seemingly unreachable goals into smaller chunks and mini-attainments. A small goal, will be a small risk and potentially a small failure. This will give them the confidence to try again.
- Encourage them to build strong relationships. One to many relationships can be difficult at first, so help them by starting with one-to-one relationships
From Berkeley University (3):
- Expose them to things that scare them, in small doses. They'll start to develop a "tolerance" to their fears and gradually be willing to take on bigger challenges
- Introduce them to meditation. Meditation can be abstract even for adults to pick up, but has been shown to be a great stress reducer. Less stress equals more resilience.
From Forbes (4):
- Focus on Learning: teach them to ask themselves "What Can I learn from this that will help me do better next time?"
- Become Physically Tougher: Again and emphasis on healthy and fitness because of the connection between physical and emotional health. Being fit, and strong, give children (and adults) a sense of control and subsequently more aptness to face adversity
- Keep some fuel in the tank: Going at 100% all the time is a sure way to break. Kids and adults need to wave the intensity and have purposeful times of recharge.