Resilience – Part 1

elasticResilience is a characteristic desired in kids because of the need to be able to bounce back from disappointment and adversity. As admirable and necessary as this is, though, we appear to have created a society that discourages resilience from a young age.

For instance, kids used to get told to toughen up when they hurt themselves, they used to play outside climbing trees and risking injury, and they used to receive trophies for actually winning something!  I understand the need for protectiveness given that naïve permissiveness in yesteryear saw abuses and hurts that could sometimes have been averted.  But overcorrecting is not always helpful either. 

The answer seems to be in managing risk at responsible levels so that kids can learn valuable life lessons in areas where they are given a little ‘rope’. Parents’ discern the degree and set the boundaries, though, and not the kids. Speaking of ropes, we have probably all heard of the elephant kept in check by being corded to a small stake, on the basis that it adjusts to what was always used to restrain it when small, and then never thinks differently when it is large enough to break free.

Maybe that’s why Proverbs 22:6 tells parents to train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is old he will not depart from it.  Give me a child until the age of seven…!

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