Updated: Mar 20
Living in 2020 can feel like standing on top of a dormant volcano as the ground shakes and steam rises all around — especially to a child. The world feels as though it’s on the brink of catastrophe. What rules are changing this week? Is school closed forever? Will I ever get to see my friends again? Is my family going to get sick?
It’s challenging to feel composed in circumstances like these, but we can teach our children the resilience they need in four simple steps.
Resilience is “the ability to bounce back from the challenges and pressures that life throws at us and maintain a positive outlook.” (source) To build this skill, child psychologists suggest that we offer our children opportunities to learn:
Belief in their own abilities is the most essential building block for children learning resilience. When faced with uncertainty, as we all are during this pandemic, a person who feels confident that they have previously succeeded at important challenges is much more likely to believe that they are ready for this fresh challenge as well. And what is Live Action Role Playing but practice at handling challenges?
Similarly, a child who feels connected to a supportive community will feel more certain that they and their community can work together to handle challenging times. Connection to community builds emotional intelligence as well, as mature members model level-headed behavior and help younger members tamp down panicked responses. Picture the wise leaders of our camp Houses as they guide their heroes past monsters and perils. Subconsciously, those campers begin to mimic the composure of their commanders.
While there are a wide variety of coping mechanisms available to children, from meditation to exercise to journaling and more, one method that works well for many children is the opportunity to release stress through role-play. Taking anger and anxiety and channeling them into a character, then releasing them through imaginary battles with evil, is a safe, effective and convenient way to diffuse difficult emotions.
“When children realize that they have control over their decisions and actions, they are more likely to know how to make choices in a way that they can bounce back from life’s challenges.” (source) The programs at The Story School are tailor-made to provide a wide variety of opportunities for children and teens to practice honing their decision-making skills, whether it’s how to subdue a monster or how to decide whether to stand and fight or take off running. The more we offer our children this essential practice, the more confident they’ll become.
During this holiday season, consider offering the gift of confidence to the child or teen in your life! While The Story School does not currently have an official gift certificate program, we encourage you to print out a registration confirmation and tuck it into a handwritten card explaining the program to any potential gift recipients.
Our next post-holiday chance to LIVE THE ADVENTURE will take place Friday, January 8 from 7:00 – 9:00pm at our D&D Night “The Bard’s Path.” This event was created especially for those players who like roleplaying and character building. Bring your dice, characters, and your friends to this 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons gaming session.
Cost: $25/person pre-registration (24 hours before event) required with our online registration form or call (781) 214-1174.
Late registration on the day of the event will incur an additional $5 fee.