Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Freebie: What I'm Reading in Ten Minutes or Less: Resiliency

In the psychology classes I teach, I talk to my students about risk and resilience. It's an overriding theme of human development -- balancing the odds against us with the odds in our favor -- and one that often makes the difference between success and failure. Resilience is a key ingredient when it comes to turning figurative lemons into lemonade.

We're all at risk. Our genes create a blueprint for not just height and eye color, but for predisposition to illness and disease. Our experiences run the gamut from ideal to simply awful, depending upon what life hands us at any given time. Part of developing into a healthy human being is learning how to manage risk and, even better, beat the odds and blow risk out of the water.

So, how do we do that? By developing coping skills that help us to bounce back, skills we can instill in our children as well, so that they learn that disappointment is not the end of the road. Sometimes, if we frame it properly, it's a boomerang into something even better.

I first heard of the National Association of School Psychologists (this week's source) when I was in graduate school. As an aspiring school psychologist, I was a student member for a while, but allowed my membership to lapse when I embarked on a different career path. Now, several decades later, I can access much of their information online, including a quick how-to on this very topic. Though this week's Friday Freebie offers advice to parents on building resiliency in children, it's advice we can take to heart and put into action as adults as well.

After all, you're never too old for lemonade.

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