21st Century Skills – 5 ways to build mental resilience

Posted 04/07/2018

What does mental resilience mean? It means being able to cope with life’s challenges without becoming overly anxious or depressed. It’s a skill that’s particularly important for children and young people because mental resilience plays a huge role in a student’s ability to learn. 

A student with low resilience will avoid work, disengage, and ultimately fail because they’ll feel it’s hopeless even to try. The keys to building good mental resilience in students are as follows:

1. Ensure the student’s curriculum level is appropriate for his or her ability – not age. They will be overwhelmed and lose heart if they’re being taught KS4 and they’ve missed a year or two and should be at KS3. Likewise, a child of higher ability will quickly lose interest if the course doesn’t challenge them.

2. Set appropriate goals. What success means to your child or student may well be very different to the way the outside world views it. Sometimes just turning up and taking part is a major achievement for some students. Praise for reaching agreed goals, no matter how small, will build confidence and a desire to achieve more.

3. Relationships. Building trust with your child or student is vitally important so that they value your praise and involvement.

4. Connect with your child or student’s interests. For example: If a student is struggling with English but loves Game of Thrones, you can use the show to teach storytelling and dramatic structure.

5. Finally, don’t push too hard. Be aware of your child or student’s energy levels and stop when they tire. Have a fun diversion ready to hand.


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