DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN TO PREVENT MENTAL DISORDERS TO HAPPEN
CLIENT: BOUNCE WORKS
RCA GROUP: DANIELA CARRASCO, LIBO HU, KAREN ROZENBAUM, RADIM PEKAREK
MY ROLE: STRATEGIC SERVICE DESIGNER (STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS, RESEARCH, INTERVIEWS, OVERALL STRATEGY), PROJECT MANAGER, CONCEPT CREATOR, CREATIVE THINKER (RESILIENCE MATRIX PARAMETERS), TANGIBILITY OF THE SERVICE
Bounce Works, a social enterprise that makes digital products for kids that build emotional resilience and wellbeing, approached us to come up with a digital solution to help families with children from 5 to 11 years old to develop emotional resilience in order to prevent mental disorders to happen.
After immersing in families worlds from children of different ages and family compositions, we discovered that each age stage presents different challenges and rituals and we couldn't embrace all in the same way. So we focused on a critical moment in a child's life, between 9 to 11-year-old kids, where they are transitioning from childhood to pre-adolescents.
To begin this project I did some secondary research and understood that during that phase, children experience a series of changes in their life, both physical, social and emotional changes.
I reached out my immediate network to speak with parents and kids and discovered that one of the main challenges at these range age is entering the secondary school: children are introduced to a whole new environment, new teachers, new rules, new classmates (see the image 'Changing schools' below). All this situation can be hard to deal with, and some children might experience low mood in energy or become more shy and insecure. If the family is not aware and the child doesn’t find a way to cope, they could develop depression or anxiety disorders in a near future.
Facing with this scenario, we came up with our opportunity statement: How can we develop emotional resilience in this specific transitional phase from primary to secondary school?
We then interviewed experts from Anthropology, Pedagogy and Psychology, and also reach out to families that are already 'resilient', helping their kids to overcome these difficulties. Based on those conversations, we were able to develop an Emotional Resilience Matrix (image above) to orient our service and our users — kids and parents — to build resilience in this challenging period of entering the secondary school by:
Anticipating some of the situations that can happen at school - to reduce a feeling of uncertainty;
Developing confidence and self-esteem - to enable the child to be comfortable with themselves and their decisions;
Developing tolerance to frustration - to cope with big challenges and failure, among other things
At the centre of everything are the relationships - to connect with family, friends, and community is the key to develop resilience.
After understanding that the relationship between children with their immediate environment is fundamental and also that the 'pre-experience' of what they could have while entering the secondary school is important to develop emotional resilience, we created Loop: a 12-months box subscription service that helps both parents and children to explore new school environments to adapt and overcome the difficulties of changing schools, by encouraging meaningful relationships and emotional connection.
It is composed by a digital platform, that allows parents to access to relevant information about children's challenges during that phase and a physical box. with weekly missions and tools, for children to build resilience connecting with family and friends in the ‘real’ world. That was achieved based on the Matrix we previously developed; I made each phase tangible by mapping the monthly challenges for the kids and matching with the Resilience Goals and finally translating it into real missions and activities.
The concept was very well received not only by the start-up but also by both parents and the children we interviewed and also by experts. The project is currently being further developed by the social enterprise.