This year's theme is 'Find your brave'. Our read, sing & learn along song video, 'Bounce Back!' supports and encourages resilience, and is downloadable for $1.00 for a limited time (regularly $3.50).It's Children's Mental Health Week: 3-9 February, 2020.
Life is full of challenges; they are an inevitable part of life.The way we deal with what life throws at us depends upon our resilience, that is, our ability to cope with and bounce back from the stresses, challenges, adversity and traumas that come our way.
We’re not born with resilience, it is a life skill that can be taught and learnt.As parents and educators it is our responsibility to promote resilience, and to help children build and practise this skill.Kathryn and I created our read, sing & learn along song, ‘Bounce Back!’ as a way of helping teachers (including myself) to introduce the topic of resilience to students, and to kick start discussion around it, in a child-friendly way.
This downloadable, curriculum-aligned song helps students to understand the meaning of resilience, it’s importance, and how to build and practice it.
Here's a sample of our downloadable 'Bounce Back!' song video:It is important to provide children with strategies for managing difficulties that arise in life.
We can do this by:
• Giving them responsibility and helping them to build strong, supportive relationships.
• Helping and encouraging them to build strong, supportive friendships.• Allowing them to take healthy risks.
• Teaching them strategies for coping with and managing stress (exercise, eating healthily, having a positive, optimistic outlook on life, seeing mistakes, not as failures, but as opportunities to learn/grow...).
• Teaching the importance of mindfulness and providing strategies for achieving this (many schools now include meditation as part of their curriculum).
• Helping them to set realistic goals.
• Highlighting the importance of gratitude (our song narrative, ‘Wake Up!’ helps students to embrace gratitude).
• Tracking their social interactions, academic progress, emotional responses…
Experts agree that it’s not only important for children to build and practice resilience, it’s absolutely imperative for their mental health throughout life.The greater children’s resilience, the greater will be their ability to deal with stresses and challenges.
I'm very fond of reminding students of this, when they don't achieve the results they expect, and often refer to the resilience of a certain Thomas A. Edison, who famously stated:
'I have not failed. I've just found 10 000 ways that won't work.'
Without his resilience, we could still, quite possibly be living in the dark!
Our ability to not only cope with life’s challenges but to survive and continue to thrive, depends a lot on what we’ve seen modelled by the caring adults in our lives.
I am sure we can all well and truly vouch for that, from our own personal life experiences.
Everyone experiences ups and downs but sometimes we can also face trials that seem at the time, to be insurmountable.
My own include the childhood challenge (and accompanying grief) of leaving everyone and everything I knew, to migrate to another country (new schools, houses, etc.) and, in my adult life, traumas, including the deaths of my beloved 64 year old father, a precious, one month old daughter, and, later, my beautiful Mum.
I am forever grateful for the very kind and caring support my family and I received during those sad, dark times.
I share these personal experiences with you, purely to illustrate the fact that we are living proof that life does, indeed, go on.
Even though we don't ever forget disappointing, sad, painful or traumatic chapters in our lives, I can attest to the fact that, even though we may not exactly bounce back straight away, with time, it is possible to slowly rebound, (the sun does eventually come out and shine again after the rain).
We know that everybody is different and that what one child sees as an exciting adventure (Moving house, migration) can be another child’s traumatic experience.
However, our big-picture goal here, is to help children to build an optimistic view of life, regardless of its inevitable challenges.
At the end of the day, it all depends on the way we look at things, and this is perfectly illustrated by a famous Dale Carnegie quote I often use when discussing resilience with students:
'Two men looked out from prison bars, One saw mud, the other one saw stars.'
We all need help and support at different times in our lives, but we also need reserves of resilience to help us to 'bounce back' and move forward with our lives.
Yours in singing to learn,Let us help the children in our care to develop and practice resilience skills, because in the wise and timeless words of Frederick Douglass (1817-1895):‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’Until next time!
P.S. Why not pop on over to our store, where you can browse our current titles, plus pick up a few lyric sheet freebies!
FYI: Our Curriculum KaraokeTM read, sing & learn along song videos are available on ClickView, to subscribing schools.
'In terms of application to the classroom, and usability by teachers they rate a tick in every box.' ~ Brendan Hitchens, Teacher, Music In Action: A Magazine for Educators
'A Lesson In Every Lyric'®