Saturday’s paper (http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,,23460386-5013414,00.html) had an article which asserted that almost all plane crashes are survivable. And those who survive most plane crashes come from a military or emergency background. How does this happen? The theory as that if you believe you can survive you most likely will.
Those who survive are most likely those:
• who read the emergency card in the seat pocket in front,
• identify the exits,
• work out how to get they,
• know who they are sitting next to and
• have a plan of action in case of an emergency.
They have planned to survive and believe they can.
It is always interesting to me when I take young men on adventure outings such as indoor rock-climbing how quickly after we gear up they look up at the wall and say ‘I can’t. Surprise, surprise; they rarely do.
There are others who you know are scared stiff but don’t voice it and tackle the wall. Mostly they do, usually they make a valiant effort and come back down ready to capitalise on their success.
How do we prepare our children to say I can instead of I can’t? How do we get them to overcome fears and fatalistic thinking and conquer the challenges life throws at them?
Notice the people who survive are not risk-takers? They are people who are risk adverse.
• They plan to survive,
• They scope out the challenges in front of then,
• They identify strategies they can use and
• They believe that if they follow these plans they will come out on top.
• They are resilient and resourceful, confident but not foolhardy and hopeful but not unrealistic.
These are the strategies we need to model and to instil in our kids. If adolescence is a lengthening process (see previous blog) the probability is more and more young people will believe they can’t, and instead of being resilient, they will be foolhardy risk-takers because they haven’t been taught, by word or action, how to survive.