• Tips for January and February

    Why are my January and February Tips about Resiliency and what does that mean for my child? 
    noun: resilience; plural noun: resiliences
    1. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity
    2. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
    All people experience times of difficulty, disappointment, stress or adversity.  It is a normal part of life and actually prepares children for life as an adult.  As such, it is not something to "shield" children from, but should be used as a tool to teach coping skills.
    These difficulties may come in the shape of family problems, peer relationship difficulties, learning difficulties, or health problems.  We know that those who face difficult times and rise above them with ease are psychologically more healthy. Experts tell us that we (both school personnel and parents) can foster resiliency in our children. 
    So, what is the role of the community and what is the role of the family?


    1. School communities can provide access to an array of resources.  While schools don't have unlimited resources themselves, they work with outside agencies such as the CASSP (Children and Adolescent Social Service Program) to provide a liason to resources that a family may need.  
    2. School communities provide a consistent expression of social norms to promote desirable behavior.  Greenwood Elementary has put into place the R O A R program, a positive behavior support program, to promote pro-social behavior.  The school also operates a Peer Mediation Program for our Intermediate aged students.
    3. School communities provide opportunities for children to participate in the life of the community as a valued member.  There are a myriad of ways a student can be involved here in the school.  A few include chorus, band, intramural sports, and buddy readers.  The larger communities provides a variety of opportunities.  Should a family need help in accessing these activities, please ask for input.  Millerstown and Liverpool communities are both very active. .


    1. Family environments that are caring and stable provide the most protective resilience.  This is of utmost importance, according to experts. A strong relationship with at least one adult is needed.  Though it is ideal for this or these relationships to be within the nuclear family, if this is not possible, a strong relationship outside of the family unit can serve this purpose.
    2. Continuity in living arrangements is helpful.  Experts know that families that do not provide continuity in the composition of the family or in frequent moves have less positive outcomes with respect to the child's adjustment. 
    3. Families that hold high expectations for their children's behavior promote resilience.  Pro-social expectations are critical to the developing child. Further, supporting a child in facing the natural consequences for poor choices in behavior is equally essential.  All people learn from their mistakes! 
    4. Participation in the life of the family helps build resilience.  Experts have found that families who emphasize the value of assigned chores, caring for brothers or sisters, and caring for pets foster resilience.  In teen years, families that emphasize the teen contributing to the family with a part-time job has been shown to foster resilience. 
    Further Food for Thought:
    The American Psychological Association suggests "10 Ways to Build Resilience", which are:
    1. to maintain good relationships with close family members, friends and others;
    2. to avoid seeing crises or stressful events as unbearable problems;
    3. to accept circumstances that cannot be changed;
    4. to develop realistic, age-appropriate goals and move towards them;
    5. to take decisive actions in adverse situations;
    6. to look for opportunities of self-discovery after a struggle with loss;
    7. to develop self-confidence;
    8. to keep a long-term perspective and consider the stressful event in a broader context;
    9. to maintain a hopeful outlook, expecting good things and visualizing what is wished;
    10. to take care of one's mind and body, exercising regularly, paying attention to one's own needs and feelings.

    Last Modified on March 28, 2017