What are we really teaching our kids when we teach them to be resilient?
Today, Mia Freedman from Mamamia, wrote about young girl on The Voice Kids, who was understandably in tears after not getting voted by the judges after her performance. You can check out the article here. Mia uses the word 'resilience' in her article...and here's what I have to say about that...
Resilience is an interesting word and one that I have to say, I don't like to use. This is one definition - 'the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
'Children are super sensitive. Actually, in truth we all are, but they just haven't had the time and years to hide it as much as we have.
Teaching them resilience is like telling them that what they have felt is not ok, that they need to get over it. The disappointment of this little girl...and all of the others that are rejected, is more than that...it is devastation. They are being critically analysed for all the world to see based on something that they 'do' i.e. their performance, how 'good' their voice is. If resilience is about brushing this off and getting back out there to try harder and do more...then how is this supporting our young people to be confident in who they are?
Who is seeing them and truly acknowledging them simply for who they are...and not because of something they 'do'?
Do we see a child walk into the room and say 'Wow, you're amazing. When you come into a room you just light everyone up' OR 'You just feel so lovely today'?
Or is it so ingrained in society that our measure of success in life is always going to be based on what we 'do'? And then does this not inadvertently send a message that 'who we are', our inner-most 'beingness', is not good enough? Yes I believe so.
The whole world is trying to do more and be more...what about coming back to who we are? This just makes sense really I think people would be lying if they said that they didn't experience some form of lack of self-worth at some point in their life...
So resilience is not something to champion. Nurturing sensitivity is not about wrapping them in cotton wool either...it is simply an acknowledgement of the deep pain and hurt that arises when deep inside you know that you are truly amazing because that is just who you are...but then you are not met with this. You are told you need to 'do' something to be amazing...and when you don't fit the ideal (that is not even real) you are rejected and the 'amazing' you know you are just crumbles inside and doubt starts to kick in...
Then comes survival mode - either hide away or get out there and give them more. Neither of which brings you back to the truth...that you are truly amazing and beautiful just by being you. And nothing you ever ever 'do' can be more than this.