I have come to the conclusion that so much of my current parenting work needs to be centered around this idea of Resiliency. The moderator at the parenting roundtable gave me a Resiliency Quiz handout, from the Parents as Teachers Foundational Curriculum (ParentsAsTeachers.org). The citation is the Resiliency in Action website, (Resiliency.com), and the author is Nan Henderson. I thought this quiz was super helpful and I want to share it, whether you are just coming out of an abusive marriage or not. But one thing that I notice is that abusers deliberately chip away at the things that make you resilient, and make you have lots of "NO" answers where you may have had "YES" answers at a previous time in your life.
Whether or not you take the quiz, I think that the questions are thought-provoking. To take the quiz, answer yes or no to the following. Then celebrate your yes answers! And decide how you can change your life so that your no answers become yes!
Conditions in life that research shows help people to be resilient:
1. Caring and Support
- I have several people in my life who give me unconditional love and nonjudgemental listening and who I know are "there for me."
I am involved in a school, work, faith, or other group where I feel cared for and valued.
I treat myself with kindness and compassion and take time to nurture myself (including eating right and getting enough sleep and exercise).
2. High Expectations for Success
- I have several people in my life who let me know they believe in my ability to succeed.
I get the message "You can succeed" at my work or school.
I believe in myself most of the time, and I generally give myself positive messages about my ability to accomplish my goals -- even when I encounter difficulties.
3. Opportunities for Meaningful Participation
My voice (opinion) and choice (what I want) is heard and valued in my close personal relationships.
My opinions and ideas are listened to and respected at my work or school.
I provide service through volunteering to help others or a cause in my community, faith organization, or school.
4. Positive Bonds
- I am involved in one or more positive after-work or after-school hobbies or activities.
I participate in one or more groups (such as a club, faith community, or sports team) outside of work or school.
I feel "close to" most people at my work or school.
5. Clear and Consistent Boundaries
- Most of my relationships with friends and family members have clear, healthy boundaries (which include mutual respect, personal autonomy, and each person in the relationship both giving and receiving).
I experience clear, consistent expectations and rules at my work or in my school.
I set and maintain healthy boundaries for myself by standing up for myself, not letting others take advantage of me, and saying "no" when I need to.
6. Life Skills
- I have (and use) good listening, honest communication, and healthy conflict resolution skills.
I have the training and skills I need to do my job well or all the skills I need to do well in school.
I know how to set a goal and take the steps to achieve it.
Personal Resiliency Builders
I always think about Humpty Dumpty when I think about resiliency vs. personal or parenting stress. If you go "splat" like Humpty Dumpty, you're not resilient! But the more you build up your resiliency the more you will "bounce" and be able to cope with things in a healthy way. Nan Henderson also listed individual qualities that facilitate resiliency. See how many of these you already have and use, then choose some new ones to develop:
Positive View of Personal Future
Love of Learning
The Resiliency Workbook: Bounce Back Stronger, Smarter & With