There have been two resilient heroes, which are pint-size little girls, with amazing rescue stories within a month of one another. On Friday, March 18, 2016, in Portland, Texas, five-year-old Alison became a hero when she saved her mom, Tracy Anderwald, from drowning. In Kenner, La., a five-year-old girl saved her blind grandmother from a fire. Children are resilient and capable of so much more than most people give them credit for. Although no one has to become a hero to have resilience, there are a few things parents can do to help their children be strong.
Little girls at this young age are not expected to be heroes or have the ability to handle emergencies as well as an adult. Anderwald and her daughter were visiting a relative close by their hometown of Corpus Christie. While they were swimming in the deep end of their pool she had a seizure and sank to the bottom. Little Alison was sitting on the outside edge, but she was paying attention to her mom. She noticed right away that something was wrong, and dove into the pool and pulled her mother to the shallow end. Although it took the little hero several attempts, she did not give up. She was able to get her mom’s head out of the water and onto the pool steps, then ran inside to get her aunt and sisters. KIII-TV reported that little Anderwald’s amazing rescue was captured on the family’s surveillance camera. Anderwald told the network, “I don’t know what happened, but I went into a seizure, and whenever I did I dropped to the bottom of the pool and went completely unconscious.” What is even more amazing is that the five-year-old was able to pull her mom from the bottom of the pool and to the shallow end, when her aunt Tedra Hunt, 32, needed Anderwald’s other daughters to get her out of the water. “The doctors explained to us that had Tracy been under water any longer, she probably wouldn’t be here with us right now.”
February 2016, another resilient, pint-size five-year-old, Cloe Woods, made an amazing heroic rescue when she was able to get her grandmother, who is blind, out of the house when their stove caught fire in their La. home. Young Woods and her grandmother were asleep in their bedrooms when this resilient youngster heard the fire alarm go off. According to Patrick Ardeneaux, the chief of the Kenner Fire Department, Woods’s class had a field trip to the firehouse four months before. The local schools have the trip every year. The students are shown around and taught about fire safety, “It just happened to stick with this one little girl,” Ardeneaux told CNN.
Children should have resilience in order to deal proficiently with the numerous demands and challenges they face. Resilience is also known as inner strength. The word resilient is often used to indicate people who have been able to overcome hardship and stress, it is believed that every child should have resilience. Whether or not a child has had a major ordeal, they all face pressures from particular expectations that are placed on them. Parents who have empathy when raising their children are able to see the world as their young eyes do. This does not, of course, mean that a parent has to agree with their child, but rather understand or welcome their point of view. It is not easy to be empathetic when parents are upset with their kids, but it is the most important time to have empathy for them.
Effective communication and active listening are important tools in helping young people to be resilient. Active listening is authenticating and understanding what they are trying to say and helps to reply to them without causing a power struggle. One way is to refrain from using words like, never and always. A parent should not mention to their child that he or she always does what they are not supposed to, or tell them they never do things to help. This only causes hurt feelings and makes them feel like they have to defend themselves.
Children do not have to be pint-size heroes and make amazing rescues be resilient. Parents can teach their kids resilience by loving them in such ways that make them feel appreciated and special. To build resilience in a child requires one or more adults that can appreciate children. It is a good for children to have role models who are heroic.
Opinion by Katherine Miller-Chichester
News Max: Five Year Old Saves Mother From Drowning Following seizure in Pool
CNN: Five-year-old Louisiana girl saves blind grandmother from fire
familytic.net: 10 ways to make your children more resilient
Top Image Courtesy of Neil Cummings’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License