Education for Resilience and Peace

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Thursday, November 8th for a wonderful night of discussion.

I have tried to distill the conversations.

What does it mean to be resilient? What do we hope for our children?

  • May you be confident and humble, adaptable and intentional.
  • May you be open to change, and open to ideas.
  • May you try your best, but be open to accepting the lessons that come from failure.
  • May you balance independence and friendship/love.
  • May you not be fatalistic, instead be optimistic and realistic.
  • When problems come, may you have the courage, creativity, and compassion to solve them.
  • May you have a foundation of exercise, sleep, friends, laughter, and health.
  • May you not get too caught up in the highs or the lows.

May you know and love the person you become.

How can we parent our children through adolescence and high school?

  • In a time when they are looking to their friends and need you less, they need you the most.
  • You can’t be their best friend, but must be there when they need you.
  • Offer them space and trust, but they must keep your trust.
  • Offer them meaningful work, and meaningful conversations.
  • Set an example. 
  • We have to give them a beacon of light that holds them on their course to their best self, as they go through these difficult years.
  • It is your family’s values, not the values of their friends, that will give them inner strength.
  • Accept that they need to make mistakes, and help them to learn from them.
  • Be ready for change, every day is a new day and they have trouble seeing the future.

How do you practice benevolent neglect?

What can we do now to develop capacity and resilience in our children?

  • Help them practice when they don’t understand.  Give direct instruction in calm moments which guide them in developing a capacity to work through different social and emotional situations.
  • Understand their unique character – there is no one solution for every child.  Some children are orchids and some are dandelions.
  • Don’t try and fix the problem when they are seeing red. Wait and talk to them calmly and give them loving direction.
  • Acknowledge their feelings, but don’t let poor behaviour be rewarded.
  • Be cautious about creating a sense of entitlement.
  • Acknowledge your own mistakes and apologize when you are wrong.
  • Forgive them.
  • Communication – listening and guiding.
  • Emotional intelligence and emotional virtues.  Justice, love, wisdom, courage.
  • Encourage truthfulness
  • Listen well, and resist the rescue but encourage the search for answers (explore)
  • Support them, but let them solve any problem they can solve.  Give them tools, not solutions.

How can I know my unique child and separate their signal from their noise?

2 thoughts on “Education for Resilience and Peace

  1. Amber Mills

    How can I know my unique child and separate their signal from their noise?

    This is an ongoing question in my parenting. There are moments when our children (at least mine) create a lot of noise over issues/problems/questions that I feel that they will learn more from problem solving themselves. Most times in our house when a child poses a questions we answer with, “what do you think? or “can you think of a solution to that?” which, in the best case scenarios, builds the habit of independence. Then there are the questions or issues that your children really do need help with and discerning these from the noise is a huge part of our work as parents. I like to attempt to make time and space each day, usually at bedtime, to answer some of their bigger questions or pose some questions to them that might reveal more of their unique self to me. I hope that by promoting curiousity and creating a safe space to share worries/challenges, I will be able to hear my children’s unique voices through all the other noise.

  2. Chia-Yu Lin

    As I was listening to all on Thursday and now reading Tony’s summary, I realize that we as parents need to be resilient in this parenting journey as well. There’s so much I need to learn to be able to set good example for my child. One of the challenges for me is patience. While I am trying to listen and do all the “right” things, I also need to be patient to allow her time and space to figure things out at her pace. At the tender age, they often don’t “just get it”.


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