Noise Resilience

September 27, 2009 by jbrettjacobsen

Today’s students are bombarded daily by messages from Facebook friends, Hollywood celebrities, college admission counselors, technology companies, 60 second news cycles, all-star athletes, and texters.  In the crucible of the critical years between childhood and adulthood, how do they rise above the fray and make great choices in the “noise” of the 21st century.  In Raising Resilient Children, Dr. Robert Brooks and Dr. Sam Goldstein state that “a resilient mindset, the ability to cope with and overcome adversity, is not a luxury or a blessing possessed by some children but an essential component for all children.  Such a mindset has become increasingly important as the technological complexity of our society grows at a dramatic pace.”

How do we foster resilience in children?  According to Drs. Brooks and Goldstein, important guideposts for parents and educators who foster resilience in children include:

  • being empathetic
  • communicating effectively and listening actively
  • changing “negative scripts”
  • help them to set realistic expectations and goals
  • help children recognize that mistakes are experiences from which to learn
  • develop responsibility and compassion by providing children with opportunities to contribute
  • teach our children to solve problems and make decisions
  • discipline in a way that promotes self-discipline and self-worth

Committing to the principles of resilience can change the trajectory of their lives in spite of a noisy world of convenience, expedience, and indulgence.


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Dr. Brett Jacobsen

Head of School
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Atlanta, GA

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