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Developing Resilience in Kids

Resilience is "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness." I don't think we can ever have enough of it. And, right now, I think we need more of it than ever before. So the question then becomes - HOW DO WE BUILD IT!

I like to think of resilience as a muscle. If you work it out, it gets stronger! We can't expect ourselves to walk into a gym for the first time and lift 200 pounds! So what do we do? We start at 10 or 20 or 30 and build from there. Resilience works the same way.

That's the magic of video games! As a gamer you travel through levels that get incrementally more difficult. The WIN is just out of reach, but seams achievable if we just try ONE MORE TIME!

As I mentioned yesterday, TRANSFER is the cognitive ability to take knowledge, skills and capabilities from one situation (playing a video game) and use it in a different context (solving a math problem).

Below is a quick activity you can do with your kids to help them transfer the resilience they are building playing video games into their real life!

1. Pick a video game! (Preferably one your kids find fun!)

2. Play the game up until they hit a hard level/task they have to do multiple times to WIN

3. Ask your kids these reflective questions in sequence:

  • What happened there? (Key Point: I failed, I kept trying, I WON)

  • Did you feel like giving up at all?

  • Why did you keep trying?

  • Did trying again pay off?

  • How did it feel when you finally WON?


4. Have a conversation with your kids using these reflective questions as a guide

  • Can you think of something you gave up on recently?

  • Why did you give up?

  • Is there anything useful you did to keep trying in the game that you could use to keep trying in this situation?

  • What would you do differently if you faced this situation again?

  • Do you want to give it a go?

Good luck! If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments!

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