Saturday, 12 March 2016

The ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance and Grit

Us teachers are caring types and we do well at helping children feel safe and secure and happy when they are with us. This is a strength but can it also be a weakness? You can read my thoughts on this here (though it is more in regard to parenting)  Bonsai and Marshmallow Kids

Bubble Wrapped Kids
Gritty students hang in there when things are tough. They seem to believe that there is a way to solve the problem at hand and won't be beaten by 'it'. But is it 'it' that is conspiring against them what ever 'it' may be to make them give in? If we are talking about a challenging maths task can we say that 'it' is making them frustrated/angry/mad and stops them from trying? Gritty kids have forged a way of believing about things that will ensure they will remain in control in difficult situations as they dig deeper and become stronger. This psychological muscle will keep them in good stead as they negotiate the slings and arrows that will come their way as life's journey unfolds.

Beliefs Actions Feelings
For me this grit we are talking about, this ability to hang tough in tough situations is part of the think (believe), feel, do (action) cycle. The ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance created by Albert Ellis is a very useful tool to help children and adults alike to develop true grit.

It isn't 'it' but our perception (estimation) of 'it' that is key. How do students estimate their worth, ability? Are they reasonable (rational) estimations or unreasonable (irrational) ones?

If a student thinks that something (it) is too hard and that she is dumb she is more likely to give in. The resilient (gritty) person will see failure in a different way. She does not equate failing at something with being a failure.

Gritty (resilient) students have a healthy estimation of themselves, others and life in general (Rational).

Albert Ellis'ABC Theory of Emotional Disturbance is a very useful grit building tool which is being used in dozens of schools in South Australia through Rational Emotive Behaviour Education.

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