Resilience refers to the ability to recover from, or adjust easily to, adversity.
As a parent, it is a quality I want for my children, to be able to cope with the inevitable challenges of life. As an occupational therapist, it is a concern we see often of parents who feel their child does not cope well with various circumstances, and experience anxiety.
Recent scientific findings from the Center on the Developing Child at
Harvard University highlight a number of factors to consider, when
supporting your child in the process of building resilience.
1. Supportive adult-child relationships: These relationships help children develop key skills such as the ability to plan, monitor, and regulate behaviour, and respond to changing circumstances. Adults who demonstrate these skill in themselves, model positive behaviours for their children.
2. Scaffold learning so the child builds a sense of self-efficacy and control: Learning opportunities are often disguised as problems, which parents may need to support their children through. Avoid solving all their problems for them. Make the most of these opportunities and review what the child may have learned for future challenges.
3. Help strengthen adaptive skill and self-regulatory capacities: In situations where things don’t go their way, encourage independence and problem solving, acceptance and normalisation, and stress relieving activities.
4. Use faith and cultural traditions as a foundation for hope and stability.
Although adverse events can be unavoidable, the human brain, particularly early in life, is adaptable and can learn how to develop the coping skills that qualify as a protective factor for resilience.
At Access Therapy Services, the paediatric occupational therapists can address parent concerns and work with children to develop skills to regulate their emotions to aid in coping with difficult circumstances. If you would like to find out more about our service, please contact our friendly staff on 47791886