As a growing body of research shows, resilience is a learned behavior and that we can, in fact, adjust our mindset. This is why, as adults, we are still able to learn ways to enhance and develop resilient tendencies.
But obviously the sooner you start anything the better. Similar to saving money, learning to snowboard, or learning a language, the more time we have to learn and practice a skill the better we become at it. This is why developing resiliency in children is highly important, and why we support it with the TRACOM Cares Academic program.
So how does one learn to be resilient, especially as a child? According to a Huffpost article, a child, especially during times of adversity, needs one caring adult to step in and help them to see the positivity in challenging situations. “By having this influential person in their life, they can begin to recognize that the negative beliefs they carry inside and the bad things they believe about themselves are lies” says author Brian F. Martin, author of New York Times Bestseller INVINCIBLE.
According to Martin, “I have spent tens of thousands of hours interviewing and reading the stories of those who grew up facing adversity in their childhood home. So often, the child who grows up to become a resilient adult does so because a school teacher stepped in to help them unlearn a lie or a negative belief that they carried deep inside. But far too often this happens randomly, almost by accident. The New York City Department of Education and New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence is working to make what is now random, predictable.”
As TRACOM research points out, having a negativity bias is innate and tends to be natural for many of us. Why? Thousands of years ago the need to respond quickly to threats that were immediate and imminent such as attacks from predators or natural disasters was crucial to individual survival and the survival of the species. Those who did survive were those who could best focus on dangers and avoid them. This negativity bias was crucial to survival and therefore perpetuated over time. Today, however, this bias is no longer helpful and can lead us to maladaptive stress responses. Martin writes “…if you believe that you are a guilty, fearful, or shamed person early in life — that there is something wrong with you — the brain does its job and finds evidence as to why that belief is the truth. For a person who grows up facing adversity in their childhood, their environment gives them every reason to be fearful or to believe that there is something wrong with them and their brain is constantly seeking out evidence to prove these lies are the truth. By the time they are a teenager or young adult, those feelings become who they are.”
As the article points out, those individuals who had less than favorable home-lives but still grew up to be resilient, successful individuals were positively influenced by an adult who became their mentor. TRACOM Cares believes in helping both teachers and students develop an Adaptive Mindset to better enable children for entering into the work-world. To learn more about the TRACOM Cares Academic program click here.
According to the Huffpost article, “One adversity in particular has the lowest level of awareness — Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV) — which is when a child grows up living in a home with domestic violence. NYC is taking a meaningful first step towards putting the spotlight on this global issue with a new initiative being introduced later this year.”
To read the full article click here, “Giving Teachers the Tools to Help Build Resiliency”
Learn more about the TRACOM Cares Academic Program here.