Rising Up From Failures Building Resilience
Parent Circle|April 2017

This month, in ‘Super 10 for Success’ series, we talk about ‘Resilience’, a trait that will give your child the courage and confidence to rise even in the face of failure.

Failure is a stepping stone to success. ‘Resilience’ helps a child take the all-important next step to fight back. It is the ability to manage oneself when faced with difficult situations, challenges and failures.

Many stories in Indian mythology, plots of superhit films, memorable cricket matches, and the lives of successful people, all revolve around the central theme of resilience.

The life story of Amitabh Bachchan is one filled with many acts of resilience. In the early days of his career, Amitabh was reportedly rejected by All India Radio (AIR) because they did not like his voice. His first 12 Bollywood movies flopped. He met with a near fatal accident while shooting for the movie ‘Coolie’, and that was at the peak of his career. More recently, in the year 2000, he faced bankruptcy. Yet, in every instance, he had the courage and determination to stage a comeback. This is resilience at its very best. Today, at 74, Amitabh competes with actors one-third his age. Yet his movies are top box-office hits.

Dr P C Shastri, past president of Indian Psychiatric Society and a leading researcher on the subject of resilience, made several interesting observations in his paper on resilience published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry. He says, “My 45-year-long journey in the field of child psychiatry built my belief in the need for building resilience …….also in normal children." He adds,"Three areas of strength are common among resilient children: (a) External supports and resources that provide safety and security: ‘I have people I can turn to in times of need’; (b) Personal strengths - attitudes, beliefs and feelings that allow them to bounce back and move forward: ‘I am loved and I am lovable’; and (c) Social and interpersonal skills for interacting with others respectfully and responsibly: ‘I can contribute and share responsibility’.”

Leading cognitive and neuroscience expert, Dr Chaitanya Sai Gaddam, founder and CEO of Kernal Insights, says, “One thinks of fight backs only when serious setbacks occur, such as failure in big exams, death of dear ones, significant loss of wealth and serious accidents. But, resilience is integral to daily life. Otherwise, it is like competing suddenly in a big race without preparation. The good news is that resilience is an ability one can acquire, and parents play an important role in improving it.”

LET US EXAMINE SOME OF THE KEY BUILDING BLOCKS NECESSARY FOR CULTIVATING RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN

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