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  • Writer's pictureAlley Dezenhouse Kelner

Building resilience

Sasha Fierce, Xtina, Slim Shady (maybe I’m dating myself here 😂) but these are alter egos; these are celebrities (performers) showing up as their most resilient and determined selves. Who do you picture when you show up as your highest, most powerful self?

When you connect to an alter ego or channel your inner hero, like say, Wonder Woman, Notorious RBG or even Kanye (hey—whatever lights you up) you summon the stamina to keep on keeping on; it's actually a documented psychological phenomenon. When people channel their heroes they learn to shape up their stamina and they are inspired to press on rather than give up; they are more resilient. Resilience has to be practiced and perfected but motivation can be hard to find, especially for kids! "UGH this is TOO hard. I CAN'T do it!"

So how do we teach our kids to be resilient and persist? How do we teach them to continue trying in the face of adversity? You may remember being told the story of "The Little Engine That Could"; you may even remember reciting to yourself "I think I can, I think I can". Well, there may be some validity that.

Kids who like pretend-play and spend a lot of time in their imagination assume characters all the time; through play, they learn to assume new roles, practice new situations and model things they've seen. For many kids the idea of transforming into a new character is a no-brainer. So, next time you're looking to foster stamina and persistence through difficult tasks, remember Sasha Fierce (Xtina, or Slim Shady); remember, the Batman Effect or the psychological phenomenon that says when we envision ourselves as our heroes, as people who are strong, capable and fierce we can summon the stamina we need to push through. Remember that you can use the power of imagination (or visualization) to help build resilience, perseverance and motivation in yourself, but also in your kiddos.

“Hey—when you do your homework, I want you to do it as if you were Superman, got it?!”

"Hmm do you think Rapunzel would give up, or keep trying?"

"This time, I want you to clean your room as fast as Superman would!"

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