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Teaching Children Resilience Chapter 1

By:   •  October 14, 2018  •  Thesis  •  1,500 Words (6 Pages)  •  20 Views

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Introduction to the Chapter

The purpose of this article is to present information relating to the importance of a proactive approach to teaching children resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back after facing a hardship or adversity. Teaching children resiliency at early ages, and implementing strategies and practices throughout the development of the child will equip them with tools to lead a healthy lifestyle in the face of adversity. The roles of families and communities is integral for teaching and modeling a healthy and resilient lifestyle. The first chapter of the article presents the background of the study, specifies the problem and its significance to children, families, and society, as well as its professional significance, and presents an overview of the methodology used to gather information on the topic. The chapter concludes by recognizing delimitations of the study and defining several key terms used throughout this article.

Background

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after facing a difficult challenge or adversity. Psychologists such as Emmy Werner, Ruth Smith, and Norman Garmezy explored the topic of resilience in studies dating back to 1974. They revealed that what was once believed to be specific to each individual child was discovered to be an all-encompassing psychological concept involving families and communities. For many decades research on building resilience in children has been conducted; however, many parents still hear from peers, from teachers, from other parents when their child is facing a difficult situation, “Kids are naturally resilient. They will be fine.” This common misconception can deter parents from understanding and teaching their children that resiliency is a skill that must be practiced daily. Additionally, this deterrence can lead to unhealthy emotional and psychological habits causing unnecessary stress, unsatisfactory relationships, anxiety, and depression.

Throughout this research project, findings of a thorough study establishing the need to teach children resilience strategies and techniques and model a resilient lifestyle are detailed. An emphasis is placed on how families and communities are the primary source of influence when it comes to teaching resilience, and how to conquer the status quo that kids are naturally resilient. Many strategies and techniques are available to teach children resilience. As the primary sources of influence of young children, parents, teachers, and communities are tasked with not only teaching these methods, but modeling them. Additionally, this study aims to create awareness that children are not naturally resilient and must be taught how to cope healthily when faced with adversity.

Problem Statement

A proactive approach to teaching children resilience in the early stages of development will promote healthy schemas throughout the lifespan. Resilience is the ability to cope with and bounce back from adversity or challenges. Resilience in children is essential to healthy mental, physical, social, and spiritual development. Learning resiliency during the early stages of childhood development will equip children with the necessary tools to live and lead a healthy lifestyle. Resiliency allows children to better able adapt to changes, deal with stress positively, build healthy relationships, and most importantly, alleviate negative feelings of depression and stress. The relationships that a child builds in childhood are influential. Positive relationships with family and community build the foundation for resilience. The status quo that children are naturally resilient is dangerous. This misconception is neglectful; it threatens meeting the basic needs of childhood development. This study aims to answer the main question: Why do children need to learn resiliency? The main question will be answered by examining the following sub questions: 1) What is resiliency? 2) Why is resiliency important? 3) What are effective methods available to teach kids resiliency? And 4) What are negative effects children can face when resiliency is not learned?

Professional Significance

The research and findings conducted for this study will create awareness for therapists, family members, teachers, and others affecting the development of children. Early implementation of techniques and methods to promote resiliency yield benefits for a healthy mind, and allow for reduced stress and depression. Debunking the myth that children are naturally resilient is imperative in order to move in a positive direction and promote the benefits of resilience. Creating awareness about the importance of being resilient is imperative; it will enable an aligned and positive society for current and future generations. Introducing methods and tactics to be resilient at a young age and carrying them on throughout childhood development and will last a lifetime. Resilience is a practice which must be instilled daily through positive relationships that include role modeling the behavior, coping techniques that develop self-control and build self-regulation, and building confidence through encouragement. The key to healthy mental and emotional development begins in early childhood, and parents, teachers, role models, and society must teach children resilience in order to avoid negative mental and emotional consequences of not being able to adequately deal with adversity or challenges.

Overview of Methodology

To answer the research question and sub questions, literature was searched on the topic of resilience in children. Additionally, the literature was expanded to include methods of teaching resilience, positive and negative effects of the presence of resilience in everyday life, attachment theory and its correlation to resilience in children, and the community influence of resilience. Search engines such as EbscoHost and ProQuest were utilized to gather information related to the research topic. An initial search of peer reviewed and scholarly articles on “children and resilience,” “learning resilience,” and “resilience in development” produced 1,509, 5, and 336 scholarly articles respectively.

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