Life is more than just good grades. We must also cultivate good character and have happy memories on a daily basis.
 
Through these years, I have been attempting to build mental resilience in kids and start them off when they are young in my little ways. The last two days were no different. Welcome to the two day workshop at Xingnan Primary School aimed at Primary 3s to Primary 5s (9 years old to 11 years old).
 
Here’s how I do it. Enjoy reading the 5 tips you can use to successfully build mental resilience in kids.
 

Tip #1: Involve Kids In The Decision Making
 
The new generation of kids nowadays is so different from your generation or mine. This is because they are much better educated and have easy access to information online and technological gadgets of all sorts.
 
You need to stop adopting the “you’re only a kid…how much do you know?” mentality. Yes, we adults may appear smarter because we have had more worldly experience. But do not under-estimate how much your kids know.
 
I always make it a point to involve kids in the decision making. I seek their inputs and thank them for offering their suggestions willingly and eagerly. 
 
When kids are involved in making decisions (minute as these decisions may appear to be at times), they feel empowered. And empowerment is the crucial key to mental resilience.  

 
Tip #2: Take Initial Small Steps

I always kickstart my workshops by setting the bar for success low enough such that it is attainable. In this way, no kid in class feels threatened. Every task or assignment given is manageable.
 
When a kid feels he is able to achieve what I have set out for him, he will automatically translate his initial small steps into subsequent quantum leaps. Success breeds success. 
 
My aim is to create momentum. And once momentum catches on, it is infectious in the good sense of the word.

 
Tip #3: Be Absolutely Positive In Both Words And Thoughts
 
I like to engage my kids with activities and games during my workshops. As with games, there will be a winner. But we know all kids want to win. No one wants to lose.
 
In order not to disappoint any kid, I will always make it a point to emphasise that there are only the winning team and learning teams. This means if your team does not win in this game, you learn from the mistakes and improve during the next challenge. 
 
I feed my kids positive thoughts. So there are no more problems to be solved. They are challenges that have fallen on your lap because you are capable of handling them with finesse.

 
Tip #4: Be Generous With Your Compliments
 
Be generous. Offer a compliment to that kid when he absolutely deserves it. It could be for suggesting an idea, finishing the task at hand in time or volunteering to answer questions.
 
One of the best gifts in life is giving unconditionally. At the receiving end, if we adults feel our hearts warmed by a compliment, what more kids?

It is this “feel good” effect I want to nurture in our kids.
 

Tip #5: Spread The Love And Do More Good
 
Kids are an altruistic lot. They are really pure and innocent. And nothing makes kids feel more important than asking them to engage in community based projects.
 
No man is an island. We are all part of a larger precinct, community, society and ecosystem.
 
I challenge my kids to spread their newly acquired knowledge to their other school-mates and classmates. And it is gratifying that all of them are more than willing to do so. I am just so proud of each and every one of them.
 
When you share knowledge with others, it means you have internalized all the lessons and can now spread the love to others out there…thus doing more good.

It is interesting how it is possible for every kid to learn to first build, and then boost, his mental resilience. 


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Mental resilience should be seen as a journey and never a destination. This is because at different stages of their lives, our kids will need to be equipped with the right heart-skills and hard skills. But for now, thanks for the memories =)
 
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There are three key ingredients to succeed in business. First, you must really love what you do. Second, you must really be good at what you do. Third, you must always be prepared to accept any challenge that comes your way. 

I believe I am well equipped with all three key ingredients. Having taught my first grooming workshop since 2009, it has been an exciting journey over the years. Today is no exception. In fact, today marks the conclusion of 11 half-day grooming workshops held over this week for the students of ITE College West who are under the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic (DPP). Rising up to the occasion I did when I single-handedly taught 8 classes.
 
Hailing from different schools such as business, accounting, engineering and info-comm technology, it was a joy to impart to the students the necessary grooming skills and knowledge. At the end of the day, we all want to create positive first impressions, dress appropriately for different occasions and conduct ourselves professionally with poise.
 
I particularly liked the students as they came with an open mind and were eager to actively participate in the activities planned. The initial jitters soon gave way to smiles and laughter. 
 
It is an interesting and laudable trend to note that more educational institutions and schools have come to realise the importance of having students learn personal grooming and etiquette skills. Well, they are part of lifeskills, which cannot be found in the textbooks. 
 
Your image helps convey your professionalism, competence and identity in this increasingly competitive world. Education is not going to be easier. And places in popular polytechnic and university courses of your choice will be eyed by others with equal keenness. Only by branding ourselves and differentiating from the crowd can we increase our market value.
 
Throughout this week, I spotted several gems among the students who were so good in colours, shapes and styles that they could be my assistants. Well maybe in the very near future, there will be a full course devoted to grooming and etiquette. 
 
But for now, thanks for the memories ITE College West. And happy weekends!

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