In this second part of the one-on-one emailed interview with Mr Howard Choy, Howard shares with us his insights of resilience.
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of setback. A resilient individual will persevere and may be better adjusted in times of adversity.
In your view, are today’s children less resilient?
In our society today, children may not have as many opportunities as we used to have to suffer from setbacks or hardship. Parents are generally more affluent and more willing to accede to their children’s requests. Many parents may even jump to help their children in homework or settling conflicts. This essentially deprives a child from opportunities where they can learn resilience.
The learning of resilience is very incidental; it is learnt when children ‘fail’. Failing may not mean failing in the usual sense. For example, a child who used to get 96 marks and above for his exams may consider scoring 80 marks a huge setback because 80 marks is way below his personal expectation (but much higher than failing mark). The child needs to learn how to manage this and if he successfully resolves this by trying harder, he becomes more resilient.
Can we tell if a child is resilient?
Through profiling, a child’s resilience index can be captured. If parents want to know if their children are resilient, they can also introduce some age appropriate tasks to challenge their children and observe if they are able to challenge themselves or persist.
Can resilience be trained?
To help train a child resilience, I recommend that parents allow their children more room to attempt to resolve their own problems. If children become too dependent on their parents to get back at a bully, to buy their food or to do their homework, the child may develop into a teenager and an adult who will not be able to solve their own problems positively, less say, one that will be able to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Mr Howard Choy is a psychologist with strong expertise in psychometric assessment (profiling) and is certified to use the STRONG interest inventory which can help chart a person’s career interest. He is also an author of “Helping Your Child To Be Successful” series. He is a speaker and offers one-to-one profiling sessions.