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Nurturing Resilience in Children

“Our job is not to prepare students for something. Our job is to help students prepare themselves for anything. And the only way to do that is by creating the conditions under which they can flourish.”

- Dylan William, Educationalist & Researcher 2018

One of our strategic themes at Tanglin Trust School is to develop flourishing individuals by nurturing and inspiring every individual, ensuring they feel happy, valued, and successful in achieving their intellectual, spiritual, cultural, social, and physical goals.

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed significantly to the reduction of resilience in people, and many of our young people experienced prolonged periods of isolation, disrupted routines, and uncertainty about the future. The lack of face-to-face interaction with peers and teachers has also impacted some students’ social and emotional development, decreasing resilience.

As a community, we have the power to create an environment that empowers our young people to overcome obstacles and challenges. This is a crucial quality for young people, as they face numerous challenges in their school and personal lives, ranging from academic and peer pressure to physical and emotional changes. Resilience is not a trait that people are born with, but rather a set of skills that can be developed through intentional efforts. Tanglin Trust School plays a critical role in helping young people develop resilience, as they are an integral part of a child’s daily life and have a lasting impact on their development.

Nurturing resilience through curriculum…
Our curriculum is designed to develop resilience in its young people by providing opportunities for problem-solving and decision-making that empower students to become critical thinkers and proactive problem solvers. This is achieved through hands-on learning experiences and active engagement in discussions and debates. By learning to approach problems in a structured and effective manner, students will be better equipped to handle stress and adversity in the future.

Outdoor education…
Outdoor Education trips are back! These excursions are an incredibly valuable way to help children build resilience and prepare them for all life’s challenges. With activities like camping, hiking, and team-building challenges, young people experience new tasks and adventures that can help build their self-confidence and resilience. These activities push students to step outside their comfort zones and exceed their perceived limits, developing a growth mindset and persevering through adversity. 

Encouraging your child to participate in the varied co-curricular programme at Tanglin Trust School also helps to build effective working relationships with teachers and gives opportunities for children to work together with peers, communicate effectively, develop initiative, provide leadership experiences, and solve problems in new situations. All of which are necessary for personal growth and success.
The new set of eight houses which stretch across the 3 – 18 age range has given the school a new set of groups that allow for the integration of students across year groups. They also present a prism through which intra-school competitions can be held in ‘low-stakes’ environments that promote winning with humility and losing with grace. In this regard, they are an excellent forum for the building and testing of resilience in students in an environment without the normal pressures faced by students; from the selection to represent your house to the finals of a competition, there are opportunities for resilience to be built in a safe and supportive environment. 

The LifeSkills curriculum develops resilience by teaching coping skills and stress management techniques. This is achieved through mindfulness, meditation, and yoga classes, as well as teaching self-care skills and providing resources for students to access when they are feeling overwhelmed. By teaching young people how to manage stress, we can help them develop the resilience they need to handle challenging situations.

And assuming responsibilities
Parents and carers can help develop resilience in their children by assigning age-appropriate responsibilities. These provide children valuable life skills such as accountability, independence, and problem-solving. By allowing children to take on challenging yet achievable tasks, parents can help their children develop a growth mindset and the ability to persevere through challenges. However, determining which tasks are appropriate for each age group can take time and effort. 

The following age-appropriate guidelines below can be adapted to suit your child

Tasks for children ages 2 to 3

  • Put toys away.
  • Fill the pet’s food dish.
  • Put clothes in the laundry basket.
  • Wipe up spills and dust.
  • Pile books and magazines neatly.

Tasks for children ages 4 to 5
Any of the above, plus:

  • Make their bed.
  • Empty wastebaskets.
  • Bring in the mail or newspaper.
  • Water plants or pull weeds, if you 
  • have a garden!
  • Use a hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs.
  • Unload utensils from the dishwasher.
  • Wash plastic dishes at the sink.
  • Pour their own bowl of cereal.

Tasks for children ages 6 to 7
Any of the above, plus:

  • Sort the laundry.
  • Sweep the floors.
  • Set and clear the table.
  • Help make and packed lunch.
  • Keep bedroom tidy.

Tasks for children ages 8 to 9
Any of the above, plus:

  • Load/unload the dishwasher.
  • Put away groceries.
  • Vacuum / mop the floor.
  • Help make dinner.
  • Make their own snacks.
  • Clean the table after meals.
  • Put away their own laundry.
  • Make their own breakfast. 
  • Peel the vegetables.
  • Prepare simple foods, such as toast, for the whole family.
  • Take the family pet for a walk.

Tasks for children ages 10 to 12
Any of the above, plus:

  • Clean bathroom.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wash their bike/family car.
  • Cook a simple meal with supervision.
  • Iron clothes.
  • Baby-sit younger siblings (with an adult in the home).
  • Clean the kitchen.
  • Change their bed sheets.

Tasks for children ages 12 and above
Any of the above, plus:

  • Cook meals for the whole family.
  • Baby-sit younger siblings.
  • Earn spending money by babysitting or other jobs.
  • Budgeting their own spending.
  • The Voice
  • Thought Leadership

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