What Does Resilience Mean? Does My Child Have Resilience?
In the early stages of life children are dependent on their parents to assist them when they are hurt or upset; we the parents are their support and secure attachment. Children are born with resiliency skills; however it is our job to foster these skills.
These skills are vital to children in order for them to be able to be in control of their emotions, cope in adverse situations as well as being adaptive to different situations or sudden changes to routines or outcomes in life.
As our children grow and develop it is important for them to develop resiliency in order to be successful in life. Resilience definition? Resiliency is defined as having emotional competence, one should be aware of their emotions or the emotions of others; have the ability to inhibit impulses and troublesome emotions as well as having the ability to exhibit empathy and social development in children.
These skills are vital to children in order for them to be able to be in control of their emotions, cope in adverse situations as well as being adaptive to different situations or sudden changes to routines or outcomes in life. What does resilience mean in real life? Some specific skills that we must foster are the ability to calm and focus ourselves, bounce back from trauma, flexibility, impulse control, optimism, emotional regulation and self efficacy to name just a few.
We must master these skills prior to our children in order to set them up for success.
As parents or caregivers our modeling is crucial to children; children imitate our styles, therefore, if they recognize that we cannot handle stress then they will begin to learn how we handle it. This will then set them up for failure; we must master these skills prior to our children in order to set them up for success. So, how do we regulate our emotion, keep calm under pressure, reduce intensity and duration of your emotions? By counting to 10 and/or do deep breathing exercises. To enhance impulse control try to take a minute before you react to something, delay gratification for a few moments, follow through and set goals for yourself. Self efficacy can be mastered by believing in yourself and knowing that you are a competent individual. If you believe that you can take control over controllable aspects of your life you will increase your self-efficacy. Empathy is extremely important to teach children, having the ability to understand the feelings and needs of others will allow children to bond and develop positive and healthy relationships with others. It is important to label your feelings and demonstrate non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions (happy, sad, mad) and body language (crossed arms, fists etc).
To enhance impulse control try to take a minute before you react to something, delay gratification for a few moments, follow through and set goals for yourself.
Another way to promote resiliency skills in children is to read them stories that focus on the development of these skills. Here is a list of a few children books:
- Moondance by F. Asch (Scholastic Inc)
- Bootsie Barker Bites by B. Bottner (G.P Putnam’s Son)
- Fat, Fat Rose Marie by L. Passen (Henry Holt and Company)
- The Bi Orange Splot by D. Pinkwater (Scholastic Press)
Role Model for your children
Believe in yourself
Label your feelings
Remember we are born with resiliency
Amy, having earned a Bachelors Degree in Child Development, has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for the past 10 years. First working in an infant classroom, and then moving to JK, preschool and toddlers. Currently Amy works as a Supervisor of a childcare facility in York Region.