There’s one statement that I hear people say on more than the odd occasion, that instantly strikes in me a mix of sadness and a frustration.

The statement is “Kids are pretty resilient!”

You see, the way I see it, nothing really could be further from the truth. Children will adapt to whatever their childhood deals them, but by no means does that mean they will be ‘resilient’.

The definition of resilient ‘is the ability to recover easily and quickly from shock, illness, hardship, etc.’ Or where it applies to the situation of the child’s home life, according to such statement makers, is that apparently whatever happens, the child supposedly bounces back, unaffected by the experience.

I don’t want to go pointing fingers at the most recent public figure that said that this week, as understandably life deals all of us situations that are difficult to navigate, and most certainly we all make mistakes, but making a statement such as ‘kids are resilient’ suggests that we’re not treating them as preciously as we should.

It astounds me in a day and age that we live in, where we can work out how to conceive ideas that allow us to log onto a computer and be able to view what’s happening on a street corner in New York, yet we can’t yet work out why people lose their way when seemingly they have everything going for them.

The obvious example that’s thrown in our faces each week is sports stars behaving badly. The easy way to view this is that their ego is out of control and they have a sense of entitlement that’s facilitated by all the brown nosers who hover around them.

And yes that doesn’t help, but it’s just not always the reason that these people will risk so much for cheap sex, gambling amusement, or drugs that will supposedly allow them to unwind temporarily.

Again I’m not going to name names, but there’s two very well know sports people that have made major headlines over the last year or so, and from reliable sources I’ve been told is that they share, not a love of cheap women and the capacity to destroy their families for these pleasures, but they both have mothers that never told them they loved them.

Both the way I see it, are constantly looking for validation and attention that they never received. Even when all the others around them were holding them up as hero’s, even back in their school days, they never got it from one woman that they craved it from the most when they were developing an opinion of themselves.

For a young girl for instance, when your father leaves the home, and or cheats on the woman who is your kind of ‘goddess’, then what does that say to you about what men do to women?

Is that just what men do to beautiful women? What hope does that form in a young person’s heart about what to expect for themselves?

If there’s abuse in the house, or whatever form of unrest, what sort of security does that form in a child that is forming all their first thoughts of the world?

We understand that children learn how to eat, speak English and the basic’s like walking when they’re at that tender age, so then why is it so hard for us to fathom that whatever is going on around them at that age is also forming their views and behaviour for the future?

I’m not trying to say that there’s a realistic way of having the perfect family environment because life is what it is and we’re all human.

But the statement that “kids are resilient” might be a little ‘off the mark’.

Delve just past the surface of anyone you know that has ‘issues’, and you’ll probably find an ‘issue’ in their very first home.

Probability is what we base our most amazing discoveries on, so why not something as basic as this?



  1. Not ALL kids are maximally resilient, but it is a trait; something like a personality characteristic that some people have plenty of and others hardly any. Most people are normally resilient, just as they are normally intelligent. The only problem is that there are always situations in life that call on more resilience than one person might have, especially when young. Most people bounce back with little long term effect except a little wisdom to avoid similar situations in the future; others are a little damaged- maybe become anxious, a bit depressed or more angry than usual. Those who can’t bounce back much may become so affected emotionally that they warrant a mental health diagnosis: maybe major depression, anxiety disorder or personality problems and acting out. We hear a lot about people who get long term problems, but if we look around amongst our friends we are seeing the resilient ones, or the ones who have learnt a few lessons from life and know how to help themselves cope. Your friends developed these ways of living while they were kids, plus any emotional problems they have carried with them. Most people have enough resilience to get through life pretty well but we don’t hear dramatic stories about these ordinary lives as they don’t sell newspapers. This site is for parents and kids who want to build resilience: http://www.theresiliencedoughnut.com.au/; it’s fun and it works.
    This is a good link for adults: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/resilience/MH00078;
    This link gives specific prompts on where you can find your own resilience; http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-resilience/201005/build-resilience-learning-forget-yourself

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