Marcus Cauchi

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How can we best develop and encourage self-efficacy in children and young adults?

I recently read Paul Stoltz book The Adversity Quotient which got me thinking about how the CORE message related to my own children.

I've found one outlet for expressing these conditions for building resilience through the works of a charity called New Dawn Rovers that my daughter and I are involved with.¬if_t=group_activity

Kitty has realised she has some "C"ontrol. She can and is saving her pennies. She is taking decisive action to engage her classmates, schoolmates and her Brownie pack.

With control, she has developed "O"wnership of the problem. She's taken ownership of her little piece of the puzzle and is overcoming immense shyness to speak to her entire school assembly.

Kitty realises she has "R"each that stretches thousands of miles. She's been invited to become a schools ambassador (which, so long as she doesn't have to miss school, she wants to do!!) She is reminding me each day to collect my pennies and ask my clients and network for theirs.

And her levels of "E"ndurance have grown in leaps and bounds. Hours of online and offline research, computer crashes, developing presentations, editing, taking and applying constructive criticism, connecting with (vetted) adults and seeding ideas that are being taken seriously, collaboration resulting in better ideas (e.g. a toy library for refugees in the Western Sahara).

I'd love to learn of your experiences of other ways you have seen working to help develop the sense in your own or children you teach, that you are so much more than a passenger in life.

I have no idea if she will ultimately live a better life as a result or make a greater contribution to humanity as a result of this exercise. What I do know if that she has inspired me!

It's such a privilege to see children seizing the moment and being more than they believed they could be. Projects like these inspire. Help me discover more.

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    Sep 27 2011: I really believe that we need to allow kids to do whatever they can when they are able. As a mom of 5 grown kids, I see mothers and fathers all around me doing things for kids that the kid would prefer to do himself. If she can put her socks on -let her for heaven's sake. If she can climb the monkey bars, just be there to catch her if she starts to fall but do not tell her she can't do it (unless it is truly dangerous of course). Empowerment starts with trying and failing and trying again with a mom or dad who looks you in the eye and asks "would you like to try again?' and smiles.
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      Sep 27 2011: Thanks Frans. Will review when I've put my girls to bed as they have taken charge of the asylum upstairs!

      .... Just watched it.

      Thank you so much for recommending Kiran Bir Sethi's stunning talk. It's a wonderful example that gives a superb answer to my question. Thank you for leading the way Frans.

      Please keep your suggestions coming.

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    Sep 27 2011: I don't want to be a buzz killer but I think that children in India are very different than children growing up in Western countries. But coming from a youth's perspective (mine :D), yes I do believe in what Kiran Bir Sethi's point of view, empowerment will cause self-sufficiency to arise but there is a difference between leadership and self sufficiency. I think what my generation needs, is some more "suffering" in a way cause really we are just too spoiled. Looking at children in all other countries they have a greater sense of empathy and care. Every person in my age group i've meet despite their personality shown around peers and older people, are geniuses and thrive in their own social group, the 1 thing i wish i could change was the way the viewed others. Even though it sounds weird, I love interviewing my friends for their opinion of life and what they find important to them. Im sure if my generation is taken more seriously we will learn self-efficiency but in the western world I suggest more exposure. By exposure I mean to other cultures and other peoples ways of life, even in richer countries of the west there is still poverty. We are taught to avoid those people and to my peers they are a group of people to ridicule. When I see a homeless person i personally have an urge to help cause really they are another human being, just that they are in a more sticky situation than I am in. Best safe exposure idea I have come up with is to watch the internet. really what a great technological feat that allows everyone in the world to communicate, a medium to both the rich and poor to be on the same level.
    well sorry for my rant... i guess my skills in clear communication needs some more touching up but THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO HAVE SOME INPUT
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      Sep 28 2011: I think your peers can learn some wisdom from you as you learn some knowledge from them.