My daughter has a lot of trophies and medals and awards. This is a fact.
This fact has led some people in our circle to think that my daughter is “charmed”. That she snaps her fingers and accolades just appear, as if by magic.
I need to remind people that for every trophy, for every plaque, every medal, there are so many things that she didn’t win…
Maybe she has fifty wins…maybe she’s entered 1000 things…
She has lost 95% of the time…
Which means that 95% of the the time she has picked herself up, dusted herself off and went on to the next thing.
This doesn’t mean that she wasn’t upset by the losses- she has shed a tear, kicked a wall, screamed in frustration…she has shown emotion. She is upset every time she doesn’t get something that she wants.
But she doesn’t let that stop her.
People ask me how she became so resilient…
So, the question is…
Is it my skill as a parent?
Was she born this way?
Is resilience a learned or an innate behavior?
While I would LOVE to say that it’s my superior parenting skills that raised a resilient child, is it?
I do know that I have always told her that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. I’ve encouraged her to try out things even if they are out of her comfort zone. I know her singing voice is, let’s call it, average, so when she wanted to try out for glee club I helped her practice and encouraged her to go for it, even though I knew that there was no way she would be picked unless literally no one else showed up at the audition. I figured it was better to try for something you wanted instead of spending your life wondering if you would have made it.
Whenever she lost something, I would giver her a hug, ask her if she did her best, and then ask her what comes next.
Did I teach her to be resilient?
Or did I enhance something that was inherently part of her personality?
Even with all the encouragement in the world, would a different child act differently in the face of adversity?
So here’s the part where I ask your opinion:
Is resilience a personality trait or a learned skill?