The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

June 22, 2011
Resilience is the ability to adapt well in the face of hard times, to learn from failure, and to be motivated by challenges and to believe in your own abilities to deal with stress and difficulties in life. This is a struggle for many teens today, even including myself. One of the ways that helps me get through hard times is by talking to someone. It isn’t emotionally healthy to keep your feelings and problems inside, you should talk about them with a friend or an adult you can trust. “Allow yourself to feel whatever comes up. Ask questions and talk to your parent about your fears” (Family Incarceration 81). I would suggest going to your school counselor if you do not know anyone you feel can understand and help you with what you’re going through (10 Tips to Build Resilience 1). Express your opinion and be honest even if your parents or friends have opposite views. Attempt to focus on the positive times and try to look at things more optimistically. I have been in a situation where I have been hurt by what someone has said to me and it helped to tell myself to be positive, and to not let what others say about me affect the way I feel. I usually tell myself that if I feel hurt or keep thinking about what they said, I would be giving them what they are looking for by being hurt in the situation. Each person is different and everyone has their own techniques of resilience, while others may have their own benefits. Reading can help you overcome resilience and stress. Reading positive and uplifting articles and novels could make you a more positive person. Think of a time when you faced your fears or overcame an obstacle (10 Tips to Build Resilience 2). You should try relaxation techniques that might help you get rid of stress by taking deep breaths or listening to music (10 Tips to Build Resilience 2). I also learned from the Resilience for Teens article that sometimes it’s best to turn off the television set because it can add to the feeling that nothing is going good. Viewing television shows such as sitcoms or even the news, can leave you feeling sad or stressed. Another way to build resilience is to assist others in time of need. You will gain the benefit of learning what others need and what you may need during difficult times. I feel that your teenage years are always your hardest to get through because of the stresses of school, being accepted in social groups, and many other issues. Teens are more focused on their physical appearance than they are with their emotional health. Being resilient is an important skill to have in your teenage years because you are more easily able to overcome a problem. “Families almost always trigger powerful reactions in us because they are some of the most important experiences in our lives” (Families: Where We Come From 63). We watch how our parents react to certain situations and it influences how we handle our own problems. Communication is important in a family because being open and honest with each other, willing to listen to the views of others, and being able to manage conflict in a positive way will help to build resilience.



In The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls showed a lot of resilience by the way that she dealt with her family being different from most other families and how she was able to accept the fact that her family was poor. Jeannette was very optimistic and she always tried to look on the bright side of most situations, even when it was hard to do. I found it amazing how the kids always stayed loyal to their parents throughout unimaginable hardships. It was really inspirational when Jeannette and her siblings didn’t fight back when the kids from their school would pick on them and call them bad names. As Jeannette got older she knew that her family wasn’t like most families, and I think she accepted that. I feel that part of Jeannette’s resilience was being able to plan and be ready for her future. She didn’t want to make the same financial mistakes as her parents did. Jeannette and her sister Lori started saving up their money so they could move to New York City as soon as they graduated high school. The stronger and resilient you are in life, the better you will be able to handle issues throughout life.





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