One of the most inspiring and pleasant things that has come out of watching hour after hour of news coverage of Sandy the super storm that hit the US East Coast is seeing the numerous stories of resilience amidst terrible conditions. For children, there are great lessons to be learned when observing how others respond to difficult situations. Developing the skill to move forward when one is challenged and yet still find the wherewithal to cope and even remain hopeful is indeed of the most important life lessons we can teach and model to our children. Further, seeing others strive to overcome hardships gives all people real life opportunities to see examples of the brain’s flexibility, problem solving in action and opportunities to empathize and work together with others.
Another one of the great lessons is that of letting go of control. When Mother Nature is involved, there is very little that man can do other than be prepared as best as possible for what comes. Children need to realize that there are things that are just not in our power to stop or fix and that what we can do is learn to deal with what is. The skills that come with resiliency allow one to change once rigid expectations and accept new realities and new timelines. Learning to let go of the anger and blame that come with the adversity is one of the most difficult things and also one of the most important things that children can learn.
Volunteering to help others with your time, your skills or your dollars is another great lessons to model or do together with your family.