+ What is resilience?
We define resilience as 'responding with confidence to challenges'. When speaking with children we talk about 'feeling OK dealing with tricky stuff'. For us, resilience isn’t just about ‘bouncing back’ to the same state you were in before - it’s about taking the opportunity to ‘bounce forward’ to an even stronger state.
+ WHY DO MY CHILDREN NEED TO BE RESILIENT?
Resilient children tend to do better in life, and to be physically and mentally healthier. They are also likelier to be happier more often. The process of building resilience is not reserved for those experiencing significant challenges, it is needed by and available to everyone.
+ CAN RESILIENCE BE BUILT?
Yes, absolutely! Resilience has now been broken down into a set of skills that can be taught. That said, there are so many different factors that influence a child’s resilience that teaching these skills alone is unlikely to be enough. Some of these factors include a child’s make-up, their family circumstances, parents, school, community, the nature of the challenges they are facing and more. It’s the nature of each of these factors and they way they all work together that is most likely to shift the dial.
+ SURELY RESILIENCE IS BUILT THROUGH LIFE EXPERIENCE?
It most definitely is. However, for many children this isn't enough, and they either come unstuck when a new and different challenge comes their way, or they go through life unaware that there might be an alternative way of dealing with a situation.
+ THIS ALL SOUNDS GREAT, BUT WE'RE JUST TOO BUSY
This is exactly the reason your children should take part in our program! In an increasingly busy world, being able to thrive when faced with constant ‘busyness’ is a critical skill. Resilient children get more out of school, sport, dance and other extra-curricular activities and you'll probably find that home life is a lot calmer as your children learn to better manage their emotions.
There is a strong focus placed these days on children's physical and academic development - what about their mental development?
+ WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR CHILDREN’S WORKSHOPS?
Our workshops are all play-based. We start each workshop with a ‘check-in’. We use the same check-in at each workshop to help children feel comfortable and safe through ritual and routine.
We then play a game to help children relax and ease into the workshop. We then launch into a main activity. The game and main activity take up the bulk of the session and are always aligned to an overarching learning outcome. We then settle into a relaxation and finally a ‘check-out’ activity. Our ‘check-out’ activity is also the same each week.
Whilst this all sounds very structured and linear, in real life it often doesn’t look like this as we flex our content and approach to meet the unique needs of the group we are working with and the mood in the room. We also do a lot of ‘live’, ‘in the moment’ resilience coaching where we tackle head-on issues that come up in our workshops.
+ SHOULD MY CHILD ATTEND A WORKSHOP OR 1-1 CHILD COACHING?
This is a tricky one and we would always recommend you give us a call to talk this through if you aren’t sure. Our 1-1 child coaching works well for children who have something quite specific they would like to work on. It can also work well for older children who don’t feel comfortable talking about what’s going on for them in front of their peers. We also often have children do 1-1 coaching whose schedule doesn’t allow them to come to our workshops.
Our workshops work well for children to learn social skills - what better way to learn these than in a social situation! They are also great for kids who would benefit from building peer relationships with a new group of children, and from the realisation that they are not alone in what they are going through. Often children attend both 1-1 coaching and workshops.
+ HOW DO YOUR TERM-TIME WORKSHOPS DIFFER FROM YOUR HOLIDAY CAMPS?
The format, structure, style and learning outcomes for both sets of workshops is similar. However, there are some key differences. Our holiday camps are for children in years K-6. They are larger in size and there are two coaches. This allows us to break the children up into smaller groups for certain activities.
The content in our holiday camps is different. This means that children can attend our holiday who attend our term-time workshops and not feel they are repeating games and activities. We also often have a whole of group activity in our holiday camps, which provides huge opportunities for ‘live’, ‘in the moment’ resilience coaching and social learning.
+ WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THE PROGRAM?
The program is founded upon a strong evidence base. Extensive research has been conducted and a framework has been developed that the program is based upon. The science underpinning the program includes positive psychology, cognitive and behavioural therapies, the growth mindset and mindfulness. It also includes self-regulation, perseverence, self-esteem, hope and attachment theories.
+ HOW IS THE PROGRAM STRUCTURED?
Our program is based on our Resilience Framework, and the behaviours of a ‘Resilient Child’ and a ‘Parent Resilience Coach’. We focus on developing these behaviours in our workshops, coaching sessions and presentations.
Our children’s content is held together by a range of professionally crafted stories and fables, that children love and that beautifully frame the work we are doing. This is also framed by the key overarching challenges that children and parents tell us about. These include friendship, which we typically explore in Term 1, given children are usually in new schools and classes and needing those all critical friendship skills.
They include self-worth, which we typically explore in Term 2; fear, worry and anxiety, which we typically explore in Term 3; and emotions, which we typically explore in Term 4. This is absolutely not a linear, 12-month program though - children can attend term after term or they can dip in and out.
+ WHAT OUTCOMES WILL MY CHILDREN SEE FROM THE PROGRAM?
This depends on a variety of factors, including how long they are with us for, the extent to which they engage with the program and you are able to support the program at home, the challenges they are currently experiencing and the impact other influencing factors have on them whilst they are with us, e.g. family circumstances - to name a few!
That said, many parents tell us that they have seen improvements in their children’s resilience as a result of attending the program. This ranges from children talking about their feelings more, to there being fewer meltdowns at home, lower levels of social anxiety and greater comfort stepping up and putting themselves into challenging situations.
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to guarantee outcomes. Our program is part of a broad process of developing critical life skills that can enable children to grow from and react more positively to the challenges they experience. This is not a quick or simple process, but it is one that can be strengthened through participation in a program like Resiliene in Kids.
+ WHAT ROLE DO YOU SEE PARENTS PLAYING?
Parents play a critical role in supporting the program at home and the more engaged parents are the better the learning outcomes we are able to achieve.
We encourage you to check in with your child’s Resilience Coach 15-minutes before and after each workshop or in the 10-minutes after the completion of their 1-1 coaching session. You are also welcome to call or email your coach, via Susie Mogg, in-between workshops and coaching sessions to check in or ask any questions.
We also encourage you to attend a free briefing that takes place at the start of each term, where we talk through what we will be covering with children and provide parents with some tools and techniques they can apply at home.
Before attending workshops or 1-1 coaching, we also encourage you to speak to their children about the program, letting them know why they are attending and what they might hope to get out of it.
You may also want to consider attending one of our small group or 1-1 parent coaching programs so you can learn how to become your child’s personal ‘Resilience Coach’.
+ WHY DO YOU RUN SEPARATE WORKSHOPS FOR K-3 AND 3-6?
Children in these different age groups often present with similar challenges and enjoy the same types of games and activities. Younger children enjoy games that allow them to use their whole bodies to learn. Older children are starting to prepare for high school. They are exposed to more technology and are beginning to experience changes in their bodies as they approach adolescence. Whilst they too enjoy playful games they are much more able to engage in a discussion about key topics than the younger groups.
The cutoff between the younger and older workshops is often blurred, and we will often see older, more mature year 2 children attend our older workshops, and year 3 children attend our younger workshops - particularly where there is a group of older children, or where they have a younger sibling attending as well.
+ MY CHILD CAN'T TELL ME WHAT S/HE LEARNED AT THE WORKSHOP/IN THEIR COACHING SESSION. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
Absolutely not! Our workshops are play-based. This means that whilst we explain what we are doing with children and why for the most part their learning is experiential. As a result your child may not be able to articulate exactly what they have learned, and how they are becoming more resilient. This doesn’t mean they won’t be able to draw upon the skills they have learned when they need them.
+ HOW LONG BEFORE I START TO SEE A DIFFERENCE?
This depends on a range of factors, including the nature of the child, the extent to which they engage with the program, the degree to which the program is supported at home, the challenges they are currently experiencing and the impact other influencing factors have on them whilst they are with us, e.g. family circumstances - to name a few!
However, through the workshops/1-1 coaching sessions your child will constantly be learning skills and coping strategies that they can apply as soon as they leave a workshop. So you may see a difference as soon as your child feels comfortable applying that skill. However, as with all things, practice makes progress and we would suggest that your child continues to attend workshops for as long as they are benefiting from them.
+ HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO EACH CHILD'S SPECIFIC NEEDS?
We are only able to respond to a child’s specific needs in a 1-1 coaching context, and not in our workshops. That said, it’s important to remember that we are offering coaching and not therapy so we will never be delving beneath the surface and offering a wholly tailored and individualised offering in the 1-1 sessions.
The information you provide us when you book your children in to the workshops offers valuable context that helps shape what we do in our workshops. But we are unable to run entire sessions based around the needs of one child as we need to meet the needs of all the children in the group. Ours is a broad and generic program that teaches children a critical set of ‘life skills’.
+ DO GROUP WORKSHOPS WORK WELL FOR ALL CHILDREN?
Not always. To gain the most from the group process, children need to be able to work well as part of a group. They need to be able to take instructions from an adult and be able to self-regulate. We also may not be able to work with your child if they are experiencing significant challenges. Our focus needs to be on helping all the children in the group strengthen their resilience and if a child is overly disruptive and struggling to engage, or if a child requires too much 1-1 attention, it can prevent the group process from working. In such an instance we would suggest that 1-1 coaching might be a better solution. Alternatively, you may want to speak to your GP and seek a referral to a health professional.
+ DO YOU OFFER TRIAL CLASSES FOR YOUR WORKSHOPS?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer trial classes. We spend our first couple of workshops creating a safe environment where our children feel comfortable expressing themselves and talking about what is going on for them (should they wish - there is no pressure!) Whilst some movement between groups is inevitable we try to minimise this to reduce the amount of disruption for the children and help them feel comfortable and settled as quickly as possible.
+ MY CHILD IS IN KINDERGARTEN - IS S/HE TOO YOUNG FOR YOUR WORKSHOPS?
There is no yes or no answer to this, it really depends on your child and a range of other factors. So, we would suggest that you reach out to us so that we can discuss this with you.
Your child does doesn't have to be experiencing any significant adversity to benefit from our workshops. Our K-3 content is designed to appeal to young, kindergarten aged children as well as slightly older children and our coaches are skilled in responding to the needs of all the children in the group.
However, we do find that some kindergarten children respond better than others and we would be very happy to discuss this in more detail with you.
+ WILL MY CHILD ALWAYS HAVE THE SAME RESILIENCE COACH?
Your child will usually have the same Resilience Coach on a weekly basis. We do try and ensure continuity of coaches on a termly basis, however we are unable to guarantee this. Where new coaches are introduced to a group we always ensure a full handover takes place. We also see such situations as 'resilience building' for children - it is beneficial for them to build relationships with new coaches and to experience being taught these skills by someone new.
+ MY CHILD IS ALREADY RESILIENT - IS THIS THE PROGRAM FOR THEM?
Our program is for everyday children experiencing everyday challenges. It's true that some children are more predisposed to resilience than others, but this doesn't mean that they don't have more to learn. And just because someone has responded resiliently to one situation doesn't mean they will do so again. Sometimes kids don't know how they are resilient - teaching them this can help them know what to do when they experience something new.
+ MY CHILD IS EXPERIENCING SOME BIG ISSUES AT THE MOMENT. CAN YOU HELP?
Our program is for everyday children experiencing everyday challenges. We are inclusive and want to help as many children as possible, but where children are experiencing big issues it may be more appropriate for them to see a mental health professional. Parents can speak to their GP for advice.
+ ARE YOU LOOKING TO CHANGE CHILDREN THROUGH YOUR PROGRAM?
Absolutely not! This could not be further from what we are trying to achieve. We are simply giving children the skills they need to respond with confidence to the challenges that will inevitably come their way. This won't change them as a person, it will just mean they are better equipped to handle life's tricky stuff.
+ WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A ‘PARENT RESILIENCE COACH’?
This means adapting your parenting style such that your overall approach to parenting is one that involves you focusing on how you can build your child’s resilience. This is a core part of being a parent, but we have split this part of the parenting role out as our current cultural context is not one that encourages parents to do what is required to do this.
+ WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE ONE OF MY GROUP PARENT COACHING SESSIONS?
In this instance we will do what we can to bring you up to speed on what you missed during the following sessions. However, we will only ever be able to give you a high level overview so an alternative is for you to purchase one of our one-off 'top-up' sessions - which you are more than welcome to share with anyone else who may have missed a session. This will give you a 1-1 meeting with your Resilience Coach, either face to face or online, where your coach will bring you up to speed on what you missed.