Military Families – Mental Resilience & Optimistic Futures - Bounce Forward

Military Families – Mental Resilience & Optimistic Futures

By Donna Burns, Military Co-working Network

“I wanted to find our more about the ‘resilience programmes for military families’, and I discovered it was a thoroughly impressive and fantastic initiative” 

About Bounce Forward

Bounce Forward was set up in 2009, achieving independent charity status in 2016. Now operating nationwide, it has an established reputation in the area of building mental resilience in children. Their premise – in order to teach resilience, you need to be resilient transcends across all their work.

Initially, their focus was working with teachers and schools, and they still do – this is still very much part of their core work.

But in 2019, they extended their offering to include parents with the launch of their Raise Resilience parent programme, recognising that it is not just teachers who can directly influence a child’s mental resilience, but also parents, and they could also benefit from some dedicated, targeted training.

Their philosophy

Extensive research and scientific evidence underpin all their work.

They believe (and it is proven) that by improving the mental resilience of children today, and their emotional intelligence, you will create psychologically-fit and successful adults tomorrow.

Or in other words, in order to be successful as an adult, you need to equip children today with the skills they’ll need to overcome challenges and setbacks, solve problems, and deal with things in a positive, constructive and healthy manner – in short, allowing them to ‘bounce forward’ and be resilient, whatever life throws at them.

Who they work with

Bounce Forward only works with reputable, accredited and specialist providers to deliver their training programmes, so you can be sure you are in safe, qualified, and very capable hands.

But they also work very closely with psychologists, educators, educators and young people to ensure the solutions they develop are practical, relevant and flexible.

Their Vision

Bounce Forward is radicalising the educational space, and changing perceptions. Their goal – to see resilience training included in the National Curriculum, and I for one think this is a much-needed addition.

The impact of the Pandemic

Covid19 impacted all of us, but none so much as parents, who suddenly found themselves juggling home-schooling with homeworking and homelife. With no-one to share the burden and teaching support only available at the end of a keyboard, it put parents at the heart of their children’s education – not just academic, but physical and emotional.  And for many, this was challenging.

The pandemic also saw an increase in anxiety, stress and fear of change, especially when kids were asked to return to school after such a long period of home-schooling and isolation from everything and everyone that previously formed part of their network.

Bounce Forward has used these insights to extend and improve their core Raise Resilience parent programme to include topics such as anxiety and navigating change.

Working with the Armed Forces Covenant Trust

One of the trainers Bounce Forward works with is also a military spouse, so someone like you. She was responsible for introducing Bounce Forward to the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, in fact they have since signed the Covenant.

After multiple applications, they have now secured funding from the Trust for a new programme that is aimed at building resilience in military families.

Building Resilience with Military Families

This is a 6-week online live course with one session per week. Each session is also recorded, and you’ll be given access to the full playlist at the end of the course – so if you have to miss a session because something unforeseen crops up, you can still listen to it, and of course really handy if you want to refer back to anything or listen in again.

This programme is fully funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust Fund, so FREE to military families!

The Specifics

We all know the glam side of military life – seeing more of the world, experiencing different cultures, and meeting new people. But, you more than anyone, know that this is not the full picture – constant relocations, having to start again, disruptions to your child’s education and networks, feeling isolated from family and friends and perhaps even a lack of independence are all too often the reality.

This programme takes all of that into account, and has been designed with you in mind. Its aim – to support Armed Forces families to develop the skills, knowledge and strategies they need to become more resilient, so they in turn can help their children become more resilient too.

Here is an outline of the sessions and what they cover.

  • Session 1: Introduction to resilient parenting

    What is resilience. The ages and stages for developing resilience in our children. The role of emotions and strategies for harnessing emotions.

  • Session 2: Optimism during uncertainty

    This session explores the link between what we think, how we feel, and how we behave. Flexible and realistic thinking lies at the heart of resilience, it enables us to do the ‘right’ thing at the right time, so we achieve the best possible outcome. Optimism wedded to reality.

  • Session 3: Developing the mental muscle

    Helping our children gain more control over how they feel and behave. Reframing unhelpful choices, and developing empathy for self and others, so we can navigate uncertainty and learn to fail well.

  • Session 4: Compassionate communication

    Effective communication is essential as our children move into adolescence. We can find ourselves in cycles of nagging and bickering and focusing on the ‘big’ conversations, and with it, we become disconnected. Resilience and compassion are the keys to staying connected.

  • Session 5: Mindsets and Energy

    Nurturing and developing a growth mindset in our children. Understanding the psychological link between energy, emotions and behaviour.

  • Session 6: Parenting to strengths

    Identifying the unique strengths of our children and us – and how to use them to best effect.

 

Resources

The programme also provides you access to a range of downloadable resources and activities that you can use at home with your children to help them become more resilient. There are 3 levels of activities – basic, intermediate and advanced – to suit your child’s age and ability.

Meet & Connect

And finally, this will allow you to meet and connect with like-minded people, so you’ll always have a peer network that you can turn to for support.

Next Courses and how to register

Full details of the next courses can be found here along with registration details

 

My final message to you – this is a fantastic opportunity for you to help your children to develop the resilience skills they’ll need for a better, happier, and more successful future. And its free. Don’t miss out. Register today! 

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