Resilience, defined by the American Psychological Association, is “the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threat, or even significant sources of stress.” Children that are resilient have the ability to self-regulate, are able to seek help from those around them, can problem solve, and can form relationships with others. We can all develop resilience and foster it in children as well. Below are five ways to foster resilience in children:
- Help your child develop trusting relationships
Teach your child how to make friends. Build a strong family network to support your child through his or her inevitable disappointments and hurts. Connecting with people provides social support and strengthens resilience.
- Maintain a daily routine
Sticking to a routine can be comforting to children, especially younger children who crave structure in their lives. Encourage your child to develop his or her own routines.
- Teach your child self-care
Make yourself a good example, and teach your child the importance of making time to eat properly, exercise and rest. Make sure your child has time to have fun, and make sure that your child hasn’t scheduled every moment of his or her life with no “down time” to relax. Caring for oneself and even having fun will help your child stay balanced and better deal with stressful times.
- Build confidence through encouragement
Children need to feel as though they can do things on their own. Have them help do small tasks around the house. Point out things that they have accomplished on their own by saying exactly what they did, rather than just simply saying, “Good job”. This will help to build their confidence.
- Accept that change is part of living
Change often can be scary for children and teens. Help your child see that change is part of life and new goals can replace goals that have become unattainable. In school, point out how students have changed as they moved up in grade levels and discuss how that change has had an impact on the students.
Guest Blogger: Rachel Holden, Early Childhood Consultant at Wayne RESA GSRP
Great Start Readiness Program is a Michigan state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children with factors which may place them at risk of educational failure. The program is administered by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start. Funding is allocated to Wayne RESA to administer the program locally.
These blogs were developed and funded under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.
Research on preschool programs and specific research on GSRP indicates that children provided with a high-quality preschool experience show significant positive developmental differences when compared to children from the same backgrounds who did not attend a high-quality preschool program.