Kids weigh in: What does resilience mean to you?

By Tara Drinks

It’s no secret that the pandemic has created challenges for kids. But even though this time has been difficult, many kids have continued to show up and do their best. And that’s resilience. 

Resilience looks different for every person. It’s not always bouncing back from a tough time. Sometimes resilience can look like trying something new or finding ways to adapt — or simply hanging in there when things don’t go well. 

We asked kids from our Understood community to share what resilience means to them. (Their answers may leave you thinking about what resilience means to you.) Here’s what they said: 

“Resilience means getting things done no matter what. I’m graduating in May and my senior year looks a lot different from what I imagined it would be. I’ve had to adjust to virtual learning and learn to use the different platforms for classes and projects. Resilience means staying focused, learning the way I know how to learn, and achieving my goals.” — Charles Mack III, 17

“It means don’t give up. If you mess up, do it again and try a little harder. It might turn out differently.” — Alana, 8

“To me, resilience means keeping a positive attitude when things don’t go your way. Your attitude is contagious and can impact the way others see the world, too. Resilience is a choice.” — Collin Grubbs, 16

“Resilience means that no matter how hard it gets, I’m not going to stop trying. When I started on the basketball team, I wasn’t very good, but I didn’t give up until I started making baskets.” — Isla Martial, 11

“Resilience means that if I fail, I will try even harder. So, then others may say ‘She did it, so I can do it, too!’” — Kaiya, 11

“Resilience means that when things get tough, you don’t stop. I showed resilience when I was learning how to read. It was hard for me, but I kept focus and kept going to reading class so that I’d get better.” — Amelie Martial, 11

“Having resilience means having an open mind. COVID-19 has given us a lot of challenges. Yet, there are still ways to bounce back and improve ourselves. This past year, I shifted my perspective and focused on new hobbies and habits. I now love playing the guitar, nature, and taking long walks with my family.” — Fiona Joy, 14

Some kids are naturally more resilient than others, but resilience is something that can be taught. Get tips for building resilience in kids.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Tara Drinks is an associate editor at Understood.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.