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beyondblue launches new guide to help children learn resilience
Building resilience starts from day one, and the skills can be learned by all children including our most sensitive little ones, new research has found.
Parents and professionals who work with children can help kids develop resilience by creating safe challenges, encouraging supportive relationships and teaching them to think positively, according to new findings from beyondblue.
The research has been used to develop everyday strategies that can be applied in kindergartens, schools and at home to foster resilience in all children.
To coincide with the start of the 2018 school year, beyondblue is launching web-based tips for parents and a new practice guide for professionals, called Building Resilience in Children aged 0-12.
“Most of the existing research about resilience seems to focus on developing this skill during adolescence rather than the early years and through primary school, so we wanted to fill this gap,” beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said.
“We know that half of all lifetime mental health issues emerge by the age of 14 and experts agree that increasing resilience among children aged 0–12 could potentially prevent mental health issues during childhood and later in life.”
Strategies found to help develop resilience in children include:
• Talking about feelings – encouraging children to discuss their feelings can help them better understand, and regulate, themselves.
• Supporting independence – simple challenges can help them develop strategies to cope when they feel uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to remove the training wheels and let them ride.
• Building closeness with family and friends – knowing they are loved helps build self-esteem.
• Promoting healthy thinking habits – positive thinking can be learned and used to overcome routine mental obstacles.
The strategies are based on a 12-month research project lead by the Parenting Research Centre and Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. The project reviewed academic research and generated expert consensus on resilience concepts. This research was complemented by consultations with parents, children and practitioners from around the country.
The work aimed to produce practical, evidence-based strategies for parents and professionals working with children, including early childhood educators, teachers and maternal child health nurses.
The Building Resilience in Children aged 0-12 guide contains specific phrases and scenarios that professionals can apply to help build resilience in their students. It can be downloaded free of charge from the beyondblue website: beyondblue.org.au/resilience-guide
For parents, beyondblue has added simple, practical tips to its Healthy Families website: healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/resilience
“With a strong new evidence base, this material will help professionals and parents navigate the overwhelming volume of information about resilience that is publicly available,” Ms Harman said.
The research was funded by beyondblue and major partner Future Generation Global Investment Company (FGG).
FGG CEO Louise Walsh said the company was focused on delivering long-term funding for projects that would deliver meaningful impact.
“beyondblue's focus on building resilience in children aged 0-12 is backed by the latest and most significant mental health research in this crucial early intervention space. We are delighted to have made this project a reality,” Ms Walsh said.
Mental health professionals are available at the beyondblue Support Service via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via for online chat (3PM – 12AM AEST or email responses (within 24 hours).www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support
Q&A with beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman
Questions for the supplied audio grabs about the Building Resilience in Children age 0-12 Practice Guide. These provide context for the attached mp3 files 1-4.
Question: Why has beyondblue made a guide about resilience?
Georgie Harman: Everybody talks about resilience in kids, building resilient kids, making kids more resilient, but what does that actually mean? This guide is about getting practical, getting down to business. What can parents, teachers, professionals and other people who work with kids do every day to build happy, healthy, resilient kids?
Question: How can parents foster resilience in their kids?
Georgie Harman: Support your kids to be more independent, give them safe healthy challenges, don’t be afraid to remove the training wheels and let the ride. Let them lose at board games, at sport, so they learn how to deal with disappointment and if they fall, let them pick themselves up rather than doing it for them. The point is, kids learn from experience and it can help them.
Question: What are the benefits of fostering resilience in children?
Georgie Harman: Mental health problems start early, half before the age of 14. If we can get in early, teach kids some basic skills through parents, teachers and others, we know that we can prevent a lot of those mental health challenges later in life and we can also build a generation who if they do become mentally unwell, they can cope, they can recover quicker.
Question: Are kids today too soft?
Georgie Harman: I think the trick is to find the balance between nurturing your children, loving them, protecting them, but also giving them safe and healthy challenges, safe and healthy challenges are actually what kids need. We cannot wrap our kids too much in cotton wool. It will not help them as adults, it will not teach them the skills to be able to bounce back from the life adversities that will inevitably happen to us all.
MAGING UBAS, HUWAG PASAS by Eric C. Maliwat
BROADCASTING PART 2
Last time I shared to you that RELEVANCE of content is essential to effective broadcasting. And we started with the importance of research in developing the broadcaster’s content. Now, let’s talk about another important aspect of making a relevant broadcast content and this is the skill to RELATE to our audience.
Whether doing news, commentary, documentary, music or entertainment broadcasts, relating to our target audience is very necessary. How do we relate to our audience? Assuming you have done your research on their profile, you would now know the “language” that they are comfortable with. In relating to our audience, we have to speak their “language” or they will tune out soon if we speak in other “tongues”. Our audience may understand the words that we say but our diction will sustain longer attention if we refrain from using jargons. It is unnecessary to use words that are very specific to a trade just to impress our audience. We relate better to them when we use words or sentences that make our audience comfortable listening to us.
You may note that I used quotation marks when I mentioned language, the reason being it goes beyond verbal. Non-verbal ways to communicate in broadcasting involves our tones, pitch, our choice of music and sound effects, and specifically for video contents, body language, our choice of clothes, the graphic designs and background. All of these elements must blend with our overall intent to communicate our main idea to our audience so we relate to them. In my more than 20 years of broadcast experience, I still find myself learning a lot along this line. You may find it rewarding and fulfilling to invest in yourself here..
For example, you’ll be able to relate to your audience as you deliver entertainment news by being, as implied, entertaining with your voice. Whether on radio or on camera, having a pleasant or smiling face affects our speaking and our audience will feel if we are genuinely into our subject matter or not. Doing an interview with the Prime Minister on a global crisis issue necessitates that we project a more formal, inquisitive but objective posture and use appropriate words to achieve similar intentions. Presenting headline news in a tabloid broadcast format maybe a bit more emotional or giving an intro to a pop music artist may use contemporary words as opposed to presenting Piano Sonata No. 1 Opus 2 No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven to an audience of ABC’s Classic.
Then there’s “heart language”. This one goes beyond mere reporting or presenting and may need a separate discussion. It is being in the situation of our audience that make us share in their experience. A good feedback from the audience would be “the broadcaster understands me and my situation” in the overall broadcast content using heart language.
Broadcasting is building relationship with our audience. They may or may not be expecting our bias depending upon our specific journalism but regardless, we cannot do away with the importance of relating with them to sustain their attention and even action and participation in response to our broadcast.
Researching to substantiate our content and relating to our target audience are essential to become relevant and effective in broadcasting.