Show #242 – Veteran Educator Rod Soper on Children and Resilience


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And on this week’s show!

Another installment of our parents and kids series during these few weeks and it’s another super helpful show. Do you ever doubt yourself as a parent or carer? If the answer is ‘oh yeah I do sometimes!’ then enter today’s guest: Rod Soper is deeply committed to increasing the wellbeing of every child through saturating their lives with wellness. Rod is a veteran educator, having served as a classroom teacher and school principal for more than twenty years. Currently, Rod heads up Personhood360 and is the principal consultant with Thinkersinq Consulting. He is also the chief investigator of The Playing with Gratitude research Project, a wellness project supporting change in about 3000 Australian children, families, and teachers. 

All parents and carers want to contribute to the development of resilience in children as they grow, helping them with good self regulation skills, perseverance, courage, and also developing their ability to move through big emotions and get themselves unstuck when they experience an emotionally or physically challenging situation. Today’s show is packed with the kinds of tips and things to say in different situations that you will absolutely want a notepad and pen for so pour a cuppa, take it in and share with a friend who might want some support raising their kids. The resources we talked about can be found below.

Questions I asked Rod:

  • What led you to a career in education? 
  • What were some of your biggest lessons as a teacher? School Principal? 
  • And what led you to want to focus on EL? 
  • What have you seen as some of the biggest differences that we can make as parents and carers in a child’s life as they grow? 
  • We all want our kids to grow to be resilient, but what can we miss if we focus too much on resilience/toughness/can-do, and not enough on wellbeing? 
  • So you see a child have a tough time, say, in a sporting situation – maybe they’re upset they lost/are losing a match/game, maybe their team mate blamed them for doing something wrong and they’re really down – how do we see them, meet them where they are, and also have these experiences help build resilience? 
  • Can you share some ways we can build healthy resilience in our kids that also help them feel good about themselves, comfy in their skin/happy, rather than braving life because they ‘think they have to or won’t be loved/will be seen as weak’ etc? Maybe we could look at 0-7 7-13 and teen years examples to span all ages of childhood? 
  • How important is it for us to model well being? What are some healthy ways we can do that around our kids? 
  • Let’s talk about self regulation and some of the ways we can support the development of this, as well as the difference between self regulation and self control? 
  • Discipline with our kids: We can feel a bit lost these days knowing how to do it right, and I’ve seen this backfire where there’s no discipline or boundaries because parents want their kids to be happy/peace at home – how do we do healthy boundaries without instilling fear/shame that they’re not good enough/being raised as needs be to grow up competent humans? 
  • How important is fostering gratitude in our kids? Ways to do it? 
  • Grit – how much does grit develop simply through life experience vs us being able to teach it? 

Other helpful links:

Wellbeing Ideas for children Facebook group:

Rod’s book “The Great Gratitude Surprise”

The Great Gratitude Surprise:

You can also find Thinkersinq on Instagram @thinkersinq and Facebook

This week’s show sponsors:

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Enjoy the show,






Comments 17

  1. Your course and podcasts have been so informative especially with respect to your mould journey and importance of dehumidifying our homes especially living on the east coast. I would love to win an Ausclimate dehumidifier to place in our boys’ rooms to ensure we minimise any chance of mould infiltrating their lungs and body systems.

  2. Hi Alexx! Thank you for the opportunity to win a dehumidifier- we’d love to win as we are in the process of building a new home and have tried to be super conscious about cross ventilation (among other low tox choices) in our design. We’re going to purchase some dehumdifiers when budget allows to keep our new place mould free! Winning one would definitely help the process

    P.S. thank you for this weeks insightful podcast (as always)- as a teacher I almost feel this should be counted as some PD!

    1. Hi Alexx, I’d love to win the aus climate dehumidifier. It would be amazing to prevent any mould growing in our bathroom and to dry the washing on those wet winter weeks in Victoria. Love the show

    2. Resilience, definitely one of the most important things to build in our children. Great podcast as usual Alex.

      Currently have black mould on all of our windows due to condensation, Always have low grade symptoms of illness . I would love to win an Ausclimate dehumidifier as I am tired of feeling this way

  3. Thanks Alexx. I’m looking to purchase a small air purifier for my little asthma sufferer but would love to be in the running to win a dehumidifier.

  4. Im in the process of finding out if I have CIRS myself and potentially my whole family of 5 due to mould exposure 10 years ago. Winning this dehumidifier would be an absolute dream for us due to the extra costs that come with these investigations (as you know). I am a mother of 3, carer of my eldest autistic son, we are a single income family and appreciate any assistant available.

  5. I would love to win a dehumidifier. We are in the middle of renovating and this would come in very handy, especially in our bathroom which doesn’t have an exhaust fan installed yet!! Loving these podcasts and the wealth of information they contain. Thank you!

  6. Id love to win the dehumidifier, My husband and son have chest issues, we live in the hills, it would be amazing. x

  7. Hello
    I would love to be entered into the draw for the AusClimate Dehumidifier please.
    We moved into a new rental 3mths ago, first time we have an ensuite. Pro’s and Con’s of course. We are already seeing mould growth on the roof of the ensuite and are worried about it spreading further and breathing in any mould spores with our bed so close. The roof fan isn’t strong enough. We have two windows and a door to a balcony, so trying to airout as best we can, but there are no screens so bugs galore. Besides this, our new apartment really is nice! We are getting screens installed with our tax return.
    Absolutely love the show and the club, thanks for everything!
    Also love BlockBlue Light but don’t have Instagram.

  8. I love this guy! I’m totally amongst the whole ‘how do I discipline in a healthy and helpful way’ so thanks for this episode.
    I have also purchased blue light blockers for my kids and I’m saving for a dehumidifier. I just read about the give away- so I’ve got to be in it to win it. Lets hope it finds me 🙂

  9. Having all these recent podcasts on kids/teen/education during lockdown ans homeschooling is great!
    Thank you ❤️

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