What is resilience and why children need it

Like day and night, the ups and downs of life are inevitable. While we want children to experience only the best things life has to offer, adversities and challenges are something that they will face. There’s not much we can do about some of the challenges or setbacks children will face, but we can guide them in how to respond to these setbacks.

Resilience defined

According to Resilient Youth Australia, resilience is defined “as the ability to draw upon the strengths within yourself and around you to flexibly respond to life while remaining true to yourself and creating positive relationships with others.”
Another definition of resilience found in Early Childhood Australia’s ‘Children’s resilience’, says that resilience is about the qualities and skills that ensure children (and adults) can cope with difficulties positively.

Building resilience in early childhood

There are many ways we can build children’s resilience from a young age – and we should. Learning that “failing” is just a part of learning is so essential to living a happy, fulfilling life.
Here are just a few ways to begin to build resilience in young children and help them to grow up able to bounce back and learn from everything in life.

1. Empower children

Show children that they are capable and enable them to trust in themselves. (Find our empowerment tips here.)

2. Maintain a positive outlook

Positive thinking is something we are really passionate about – it’s powerful! Staying positive about the future shows children that there is a reason to dust yourself off and try again or try another way.

3. Create healthy relationships

Healthy, respectful and supportive relationships are an important goal for all ages. Encourage children to pursue them and nurture them. Team building is one way, and Justin Kuchel of Active Start Sports will be at our Wellness Summits in September to talk about just that. Want to come along with your team of educators? Learn how you can.

4. Believe in children

Self-belief is important but so is children having educators and other adults around them who believe in them. Tell them and show them that you believe they can succeed.

5. Take appropriate risks

Doug Fargher, Founder of Bush Kinder and an early childhood guru is passionate about the need for parents and educators to trust children and support them in taking appropriate risks. He’ll be presenting as a guest speaker at our upcoming Wellness Summits in September. (Remember: if you’re not attending yet, there’s still time to join us and come with your entire team! Click here).
Resilience in early childhood can be built every day and can transform the way we learn, create and live. We would love to hear your resilience-building strategies – share with us on Facebook on our page or in our private group if you’re an educator who is a Bonkers Beat member.

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