• Dr Beulah van der Westhuizen


With the current drought in the Western Cape, my attention was drawn to the different ways in which people respond to the events of life. The media is inundated with articles of people standing in long queues to buy water and water storage bottles. The social media is flooded with posts of events that are taking place in shopping centres, of how people fight to get the most water and the blaming of municipality and political parties for the crisis we are finding ourselves in. A percentage of people seems almost ignorant to the situation and at 70 days to Day Zero have almost nothing in place, looking at others to solve their problem for them. Some, on the other hand, have already put all they need in place and are calmly going on with life, confident that they will be able to cope when the taps run dry.

I am wondering how children are perceiving all of the events unfolding around them? As children, they are looking at us, the adults, to see how we respond to the crisis. Do we demonstrate panic, finger pointing and blaming, paralysis, ignorance or are they seeing resilient parents, making plans and taking on this challenge with an almost childlike wonder to explore new ways of saving water and problem solving with energetic resolve.

Resilience is a powerful mindset. One that we can demonstrate to and teach our children. The ability to bounce back from life's adversities is a gift. The speed at which we can bounce back demonstrate the amount of tenacity we have, the sheer determination and perseverance to not allow life's events get us down.

The Infochart provides a quick reference guide to parents wanting to know more about resilience, the characteristics of resilience and how to create a resilient mindset in your child.

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