As moms, we tend to want to protect our sons from life’s hard lessons. But there is great value in letting them experience those lessons – there is something strong and solid in learning resilience. How do we develop resilience in our sons? Resilience is a powerful life lesson to learn. It teaches us that we are capable of, and able to bounce back from a hard knock, and carry on as, if not better than before.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines resilience as: “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.”
Ways we can teach our sons resilience:
Running a small business:
Letting preteens and teens run their own entrepreneurial idea will give your son a great lesson in resilience. As well as learn about profit, loss, budgeting, planning, dealing with finances and people skills, your son will almost certainly run into some setbacks in his business idea, and learn from those setbacks and grow. The value in learning after each setback, is in the realisation that he IS okay again every time, that things do work out well, that he can learn from the setback and adjust his reaction to it so as not to have THAT particular problem happen again.
Getting involved in family finances:
One of the great lessons to teach your son is how to handle money. How to budget, save, plan for the future and how to practice delayed gratification. There will be times when he/you will spend spontaneously, and then later realise the value of that money spent, when you need it and don’t have it. There will be the taste of hard times, and the sweetness of good times, when savings grow wonderfully, or investing pays off, or budgeting is stuck to and the results are seen.
Reading great biographies:
Another way to learn resilience is to read other people’s stories of how they learnt it! Expose your son to some great stories that will inspire and teach him.
Life as I have known it has been Finger Lickin’ Good – the story of Colonel Sanders, KFC
Colonel Sanders asked 1009 places if they’d like to sell his chicken, made with his secret recipe, and give him a percentage of sales, and received 1009 ‘no’s’ before he received his first ‘Yes!’ He spent two years driving across America, sleeping in his car, dressing every day in his white suit, asking restaurants if they were interested in his idea. He got 1009 ‘No’s!’ before he got a ‘Yes!’
Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson’s autobiography
Richard Branson had dyslexia, and performed poorly academically. He went on to own 360 companies, and is worth over 2.4 billion dollars.
Getting Involved In A Sport:
A great way to learn resilience is in sport. Whether playing a sport alone, or as part of a team, learning to push yourself to your max, learning what your limits are, and learning how to fail and succeed again are valuable lessons!
Know people who have learned resilience through experience:
Finding and befriending people who have been through great trials, and achieved great things regardless, is a great way for a child to learn about resilience, strength of character and tenacity.