Archive for February, 2013
I often read Psalms when I am in of need support. While I sometimes do not understand everything I am reading, I find the words calming and comforting. Recently, however, the words of Psalm 30 have taken on an interesting meaning for me:
You have changed my grieving into dancing!
Thrown off my mourning clothes and dressed me in joy
So that my whole being might sing to you without ceasing
Pouring out my gratitude without end.
~ from Opening to You: Zen Inspired Translations of the Psalms by Norman Fischer. ©2002. Penguin Putnam, Inc.
It’s as though the Psalm writer is saying, “Life threw lemons at me and God helped me make lemonade! I am so grateful.” I think my most recent life experiences have opened my eyes to this new meaning.
These life experiences have caused me to think a lot about Resilience. You see, in the past 6 years my family has dealt with serious medical issues, employment issues, financial issues, unexpected deaths and lots of relocation.
I am not sharing this information to gain pity or because I believe my family has had a more difficult time than any other. During this same time the American economy has been in collapse, a Tsunami hit Japan, an earthquake struck China, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast and untold other tragedies took countless lives and affected other families all over the world. No, this past 6 years has not been easy…for many people.
What I know for myself during this trying time, however, has been that in spite of my family and friends shaking their heads and wondering “how I was getting through all this,” I never really thought I had any choice but to get through it.
Somewhere, a long time ago, I learned two very valuable lessons
1) “The best way out is always through.” ~ Robert Frost
2) “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Somewhere a long time ago, I learned…Resilience.
I know that reading a boat load of books with excellent values content had a lot to do with my learning Resilience, but so have an unshakeable marriage, a loving family, strong friendships, and a deep faith. I wish you all these and more in the days ahead.
Here are books that can help you teach your child about resilience:
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? By Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Mark Teague. ©2000. Scholastic, Inc. Ages 2 -6. Going to bed in an orderly manner is a good way to make life palatable for everyone. I grew up with a lot of rules. My kids probably had a few less, but they still knew where the boundaries were. Rules are important. Rules, boundaries and structure build resilience. The entire How Do Dinosaurs… series is about starting children out with rules. They are all great.
Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity. Written and Illustrated by Mo Willems. ©2007. Hyperion Books. Ages 3 -6. I love the Knuffle Bunny books. This one is about starting a friendship. If it were not for my friends, friends who I could talk to about anything and everything, I would not have gotten through any of the experiences I have had in my life. Friendships are another way to help children build resilience.
The Kissing Hand. By Audrey Penn. Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper & Nancy M. Leak. ©2006. Tanglewood Press. Ages 4-8. Chester Raccoon is afraid to go to school. His mom shares the family secret with him – The Kissing Hand. It is always good to know that no matter what, your family will always be there.
I Can Hear the Sun. Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco. ©1996. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. Ages 7-11. A homeless, orphan finds his way to Lake Merritt and begins to assist the caretaker there with the geese. His courage, faith and hope inspire everyone he meets
May B.: A Novel. By Caroline Starr Rose. ©2012. Schwartz & Wade Books. Ages 9-12. An incredible story set in the 1800s. Written in free-verse, a young girl is sent by her parents to help in a neighbor’s homestead in the Kansas prairie. Abandoned by her hosts and burdened by low esteem caused by learning disabilities, she finds the inner strength necessary to insure her own survival.
White Fang. By Jack London. ©1906. Many editions. Ages 11-16. The classic story of a wolf/dog that survives the most terrible abuse at the hands of men, yet its spirit remains unbroken and is reborn with the love and tenderness of a kind and gentle human being.
The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teens. By Wendy Mogul, Ph.D. ©2010. Scribner. Adults. An excellent resource for parents looking to raise children into strong adults, this companion volume continues the lessons learned in The Blessing of a Skinned Knee.
©2013 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and forwordsbooks.com all rights reserved.
Books used in this review are from my personal library or were provided by my local public library.
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