Imagine training your entire life for a competition that lasts only a few minutes. You strive for perfection, but do you achieve it? Do you stand on the podium with a gold medal around your neck, or do you go home with nothing but the disappointment of failure? Olympic athletes may feel that they have failed by not winning a medal and that is their right. What we can teach our children is that success takes time, practice, extremely hard work and most importantly resilience.
If resilience can be understood as: coping effectively with stress and pressure, bouncing back from disappointments, mistakes, and adversity and developing clear goals and following through on them then the Olympic athletes exemplify resilience. Olympic athletes demonstrate for our kids how it’s possible to view mistakes and setbacks as challenges rather than stressors to avoid. They’ve developed effective coping strategies and recognize and appreciate their own strengths and talents without the need to be perfect.
This article by Mari-Jane Williams in The Washington Post shares some great teachable moments.
Cathi Cohen, LCSW, CGP