DIDI FAMILY BLOG: The value of resilience for parents - and children!
Katie Heirene of didi rugby Crewe & Nantwich
In the first of a series of blogs from our franchise holders around the country, didi rugby Crewe & Nantwich's Katie Heirene explains why she is teaching her kids the value of resilience from a young age.
Look up the word ‘resilience’ in a dictionary and you will get something like…
‘The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’
God knows…as a parent, my resilience is put to the test on a daily basis. I am sure any mums and dads reading this will feel the same.
Meal time, cleaning teeth, washing, getting dressed, getting them to bed…the list of resilience testing on a daily basis is endless.
As far as activities are concerned, getting children involved in a group activity or interest can be the easy part. The excitement of something new is always a big draw.
But keeping them there can be a challenge.
Like me, I am sure other parents have reminded their child that it is Beavers night, instrument practice, dance class, gymnastics or whatever and got that long face in return followed by a groan and a: ‘Awwww Mum, do I HAVE to go today? I don’t want to!”
For any parents that take their children to outdoor activities in the winter, the idea of a night off in the warmth of your home instead can be seriously attractive!
But when my four-year-old Zach starts going down that route now, I believe it is important for him – and me – to stick to my guns and try as hard as I can to get him to wherever he is supposed to be. Invariably, once I get him to the intended target, he is off having fun and enjoying himself within a minute or two anyway!
I have become fed-up with giving him an ‘easy out’ and I don’t believe that, in the long run, it will do him any good or, crucially, teach him any sort of resilience for what lies ahead in life if I let him bail out of things whenever he doesn’t fancy doing something.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be tough and involve a fight and that can be the last thing I want to have with my four-year-old after a tough day at work.
Resilience and commitment
But I feel that it’s part of my duty as a parent to teach him resilience. I want him to learn what commitment is all about and I want to teach him that life will throw up times when he just has to get his head down and get on with it – whatever that ‘it’ may be.
It might seem extreme pushing a 4-year-old to be resilient but he really does get so much out of it when he’s there and the younger we teach these lessons, the sooner it becomes second nature.
As a rugby player myself, there are many nights when I can't be bothered to go out into the freezing cold and run around, especially when I have work to do. But I always feel so much better for doing it - and come Sunday when I’m picked for the team and we are on form following a great mid-week training session it all feels worthwhile!
We all know that adult life is a huge test of our resilience, especially when kids come along, and that we have to persevere and work hard to get through any challenges that come our way.
So I for one, am keen to teach Zach a life skill that he will be calling upon a lot in the future.
As I am sure I will say to him many times over the next decade, he will thank me for it in the long run.