Home' Capricornus Quarterly : July 2012 Contents 10
Tips for creating resilient families
Clinical Psychologist Andrew Fuller says resilience is the ne art of being able to bungy jump through life. The pitfalls are still there,
according to Andrew, but it is as if you have an elasticised rope around your middle that helps you to bounce back from hard times.
1. Promote belonging
Resilience is the happy knack
of being able to bungy jump
through the pitfalls of life. It is
the strongest antidote we know
of for self-harm, depression
and drug abuse and it s built
on our sense of belonging.
2. Have some mooch time
We live in a world that suffers
from attention de cit disorder.
We rush children from activity
to activity, from lesson to
lesson and from one organised
event to another. Then we
wonder why, when there is a
lull, they say "I m bored". Be
a counter-revolutionary. Find
some time each week just to
be at home without anything
3. Rediscover some
It doesn t matter whether it is
the family walk after dinner,
the Sunday roast, the Friday
night pizza or the Saturday
morning clean up, rituals are
highly protective. The best
rituals often cost nothing.
These are the activities
you hope that later on your
children will reminisce and
say "Mum always made
sure we did." or "Dad always
made sure we did."
4. Spontaneity and curiosity
Spontaneity and curiosity are
the building blocks of good
mental health. You cannot tell
someone how to have better
mental health and you can t
give it to them by getting them
to read a book. So the really
hard message here is that if
you want to raise your children
to have mentally healthy lives
you are going to have to have
a good time yourself. If you
want your children to succeed
you need to show them that
success is worth having.
5. Love kids for their
When families function well
people are allowed to be
different and to be loved for
those differences. We all know
that children take on different
roles. A father of three said,
"It s as if they have a planning
meeting once a year and say
you be the good kid, I ll be
the sick kid and the other one
can be the trouble-maker! And
then just when you think you ve
got it gured out they change
roles again." Having children
who are strongly individual and
who have a sense of who they
Rockhampton Grammar School teachers and parents
will work in August with one of the country s leading
clinical psychologists to develop the tools and methods
necessary to help build children s resilience.
Building resilience is about developing the ability in a
person to adapt and grow, or bounce back, from all kinds of
adversity, including trauma, tragedy, setbacks and stress.
"We want to help students and parents because as
children develop they need to be able to manage
stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty,"
explains Deputy Headmaster Arthur Kelly.
On Monday 20 August Andrew Fuller will conduct a full
day professional development programme for teachers.
That evening he will also present a session for parents
on Building Resilience from 7.00pm until 8.30pm.
Obser vers describe Andrew as an "interesting mixture
of Billy Connolly, Tim Winton and Frasier Crane."
Andrew is a clinical psychologist who specialises in the
wellbeing of young people and their families. He is a Fellow of
the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Learning
and Educational Development at the University of Melbourne,
a consultant to the ABC on children s television shows and
a member of the National Coalition Against Bullying.
"[Resilience is] the happy knack of being able to
bungy jump through the pitfalls of life - to rise
above adversity and obstacles," he says.
A well-known author, Andrew has established programs for
the promotion of mental health in schools, substance abuse
prevention, the reduction of violence and bullying, suicide
prevention programs and for assisting homeless young people.
Parent Workshop on Resilience
Monday 20 August @ RGS
Free, limited seating
RSVP early to Ms Marissa Buchanan
07 4936 0851
Helping children bounce back
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