Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Resilience?
We define resilience as 'responding with confidence to challenges'. For children, we define it as 'feeling OK dealing with tricky stuff'.
We help children develop the skills associated with reactive resilience, i.e. responding confidently to challenges that arise, and proactive resilience, i.e. taking risks and opening themselves up to potential challenges.
2. Why do my children need to be resilient?
Your kids need to be resilient so they can respond confidently to challenges, take risks and open themselves up to challenges, maintain their physical and mental wellbeing and thrive as they develop into adolescents and adults.
Resilience is not reserved for those experiencing significant challenges, it is needed by and available to everyone.
3. Can resilience be built?
Yes, absolutely! Recent research into resilience means we now know what resilience looks like in children and can therefore provide them with skills and coping strategies - an essential toolkit that they can draw upon at any stage.
That said, adopting a taught approach cannot alone build resilience in children, as there are so many factors influencing this, including a child's unique make-up, the predispositions and circumstances they are born with and a set of broader influences, such as their family, school, community, the nature of the challenges they are facing, etc.
4. Surely resilience is built through life experience?
It most definitely is. However, for many children this isn't enough. The world our kids are growing up in is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous and many of the broader constructs that helped build resilience in the past, such as extended families and entire communities raising children, no longer exist. Leaving the development of resilience to life experience builds unconscious competence, which can make it difficult for children to identify which skills they need to draw upon when facing challenges.
5. 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?
6. What do you do in your workshops?
Our workshops are fun, engaging and developmental. 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 build relationships with their peers and resilience coach. We then launch into a main activity. The game and main activity take up the bulk of the session and are always aligned to a theme. We then settle into a relaxation and finally a "check-out" activity. Our "check-out" activity is also the same each week.
The theme that we explore in the workshops changes each term. Our theme for Term 1 is "making good friendship choices and navigating the playground". In Term 2 we explore "feeling OK being me" and in Term 3 we explore "making fear my friend". Our term 4 theme is "staying cool and calm and handling worries and stress". We explore these themes through art, games, drama, movement, storytelling and breathing.
All of our activities can be tailored depending on the group and the mood in the room and over the course of a term a range of activities are introduced catering to different learning styles and creative preferences. We split our workshops into years K-3 and 3-6.
7. 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.
The framework that underpins the program is based around 8 pillars. These are: I am self-confident, I believe I can grow, I can solve problems, I can show empathy, I can keep going when things are tough, I am optimistic, I am self-aware and I can handle my emotions.
In addition, each session includes a focus on the following: Feeling, Communicating, Believing, Laughing, Playing, Reframing, Learning and Relaxing.
8. Do I have to commit to a whole term of workshops?
To get the most out of the workshops yes, your children should commit to a full term. Each session builds upon the previous one and over the course of a term children build strong relationships with their peers and resilience coach.
9. What outcomes will my children see from the program?
We can't guarantee outcomes and the extent to which your children see outcomes depends on the extent to which they engage with the program. However, assuming your children do fully engage, you can expect to see some or all of the following: greater self-confidence, better ability to relax, better able to manage big emotions, more able to keep going when things get tough, better able to manage relationships with friends and family, more comfortable taking on challenges and better able to face their fears.
10. What role do you see parents/carers playing?
Parents/carers play a critical role in helping their children become more resilient. In relation to the program, parents/carers can help by speaking to their children about the program before they attend, letting them know why they are attending and what they might hope to get out of it. They can also help by ensuring their children fully engage with the program.
We will provide you with a summary of what your child will be learning, and you will also be invited to a briefing before the program begins, so that you can reinforce what is being learned at home.
At any stage you are welcome to contact Susie Mogg to discuss in more detail the skills being taught during the workshops, and your child's Resilience Coach will be available before and after each workshop/coaching session should you wish to discuss your child.
And soon there will be free resources on this website that you can download and use at home - watch this space!
11. 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 our play-based. This means that whilst we deliver and repeat certain key messages to children 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, but they will be able to draw upon the skills they have learned when they need them.
12. 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 school, what else is happening for them that may strengthen their resilience and the amount and nature of any adversity they may be experiencing - 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.
There is officially 12 months' of content, however there is no "end" date as such. We explore a different theme each term and whilst all our themes are equally useful we have designed the program to allow for children to dip in and out.
13. WHY do you run separate workshops for k-3 and 3-6?
This is very deliberate. We find that children in years K-3 often present with similar challenges. Children at this age respond well to the same types of games and activities, that typically involve them using their whole bodies to learn, and and are at a similar stage developmentally.
We find that children in years 3-6 respond better to a different set of play-based learning techniques. These children are also facing quite different challenges and we adjust our program content to respond to these - children at this age are starting to get ready to go to high school, they are exposed to more technology and are beginning to experience changes in their bodies as they approach adolescence. Children at this age are at a similar stage developmentally and are more able to engage in a discussion than the younger groups.
14. how do you respond to each child's specific needs?
This is not a program that offers tailored, individualised solutions. Rather, we offer a broad, generic program that will teach children a critical set of "life skills".
That said, we are able to frame our content and delivery in any specific scenarios that children bring with them to the program and are coaches are skilled at flexing the content and their style of delivery to respond to the unique needs of the children in the room. Children will also take something different from each of the activities that we offer them.
15. 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 have experience of working in groups, 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.
16. Should my child attend group workshops or 1-1 coaching?
It really depends on your child and what is going on for them. We find that children typically attend 1-1 coaching when they are unable to attend a workshop or where they don't respond well to group work. Coaching also works well when you want a flexible solution, e.g. some of our coaching clients choose to have a couple of sessions and then a break of a few weeks where they practice what they have learned.
Children typically attend group workshops where learning in a group environment works well for them. Workshops allow children to learn from each other, build strong peer relationships and gain comfort from the sense that they are not alone.
17. 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. 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.
18. 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.