From the Principal

The dictionary defines tolerance as ‘the ability or willingness to  tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.’ I find this an interesting definition and one that I sometimes personally find a challenge. Many of us learn how to handle situations and occurrences that we disagree with or dislike, but how do our children learn this? I find for children resilience is a very important character trait to learn. As teachers and parents it is very easy for us to want to rescue our children, but in rescuing are we hindering resilience growing within our children? Resilience is somewhat similar to tolerance. Resilience can be defined as ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties,’ but another interesting definition of resilience is ‘the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.’

How great is that second definition? Although it is based for a substance or object, I think it gives a clear picture of what resilience could look like in children. A child with resilience is able to have their emotions and thinking ‘spring back’ into shape. There are lots of challenges for our children today and the truth is, we need to allow our children to be ‘guided’ through these difficulties. They can then learn problem solving skills, discernment and wisdom in choosing right and wrong, as well as how to handle difficult times. For us, we know that our strength and comfort comes from Christ Jesus. The knowledge that He loves, adores and accepts each of us should be taught daily to our children. Then when challenges or negativity come before our children, they will know it is not from Him and is not the truth. Instead the negativity and hurt are lies or things that we can just let fall to the ground. I recently read the following:

Some kids are resilient by nature, their temperament helps them to be mentally and psychologically tough. They get straight back up after a setback or disappointment. Rejection in the playground does not faze them. Unfortunately, not every child has such natural resilience. The good news is that most of the research shows that resilience can be nurtured and developed, particularly when parents themselves are resilient and they actively foster it in their kids. Resilient kids share four basic skill sets independence, problem-solving, optimism and social connection.

From a resilience perspective parents need to coach children through some of their more challenging moments and reviewing what they may have learned for next time. Avoid solving all their problems for them.

You can promote a lasting sense of resilience in your kids by:

  1. Having a positive attitude yourself. Your attitude as a parent impacts on their ability to bounce back from some of the difficulties they face. Make sure you model a ‘you can do it’ attitude for your child when he meets some of
    life’s curve balls.
  2. Look for teachable moments. Many kids’ learning opportunities are disguised as problems. Make the most of these opportunities so that kids can grow and learn
    from some of the challenges they face.
  3. Make kids active participants in the family. Active participation in a family develops the self-help, problem solving, and independence skills of kids that are necessary for resilience.
  4. Build kids coping skills. There are plenty of strategies you can pass on to kids to help them cope when life does not go their way, including acceptance and getting away for a while.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and
righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
 – Isaiah 9:6-7

I love Christmas time! I love it because whether people know it or not, they are all entering places that are celebrating Christ’s birth: Our Lord! I certainly feel challenged at times to not despise the way people have turned Christmas into a consumerist event, but instead use it as a time to tell others about Christ, after all it is our Lord who they are remembering. This is the time we can openly say, ‘Merry Christmas – Christ came to earth to bring love and joy!’ or ‘I pray you have a blessed time with family and friends on Christmas Day, remembering Jesus’ birth.’ or ‘May you know His love this Christmas season.’ Christ is our Lord and we should celebrate and share this news with others. In our world today many people are needing the news of hope and have His love shared with them. It is my prayer that over this season you can make new memories and traditions with your family, but also demonstrate to our children how they can show His love to others. Giving His love away to others is a wonderful way to allow our children to see the blessing of Christmas. Jesus is love! 

I wish to take this opportunity to thank each of you for another year partnering with DCS. It has been another wonderful year and one that we know is only possible by keeping our eyes

focused on Him. I leave you with the words in Numbers 6:
‘The Lord bless you, and keep you: The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.’

Shalom, see you in 2021!

Chad Smith