Resilience has become a common term used when talking about how children, and adults, cope in the face of adversity.
Resilience is having the ability to ‘bounce back’ and adapt to challenges and stressors in life. It is an important skill to have as we will all experience difficult times, setbacks, and stress. Resilience doesn’t mean a person has no emotional reactions to events – it is normal and healthy to feel emotional pain and distress when either we experience difficulties or hear about others’ traumatic experiences.
Instead, resilience involves acknowledging our emotions and implementing effective thoughts and behaviours to build our capacity to cope with life events and hardships. It is not a trait humans are born with but rather one that can be developed and learned over time, and a wonderful life skill to pass on to our children.
People who are resilient tend to have a higher sense of self-worth, and be more confident and hopeful. It is not however necessary,nor advisable, to throw our kids into traumatic situations in order to build up their resilience.
Most children living in supportive families and communities learn ways to adapt to situations they face in life which can help them cope better when they face challenging or threatening circumstances. However, there are a number of things parents, teachers and significant adults can do to help promote resilience in children.