Home Parenting Fostering resilience in young children is vital to their healthy development

Fostering resilience in young children is vital to their healthy development

by Tania Griffin

Nurturing resilience in young children is paramount for their growth and development in a country and world filled with challenges. Ursula Assis, country director of Dibber International Preschools, sheds light on this crucial aspect of parenting, teaching and early childhood education and development.

As she explains, resilience refers to a child’s ability to respond positively to adverse events. While some may perceive resilience as an innate trait, she stresses that it can also be cultivated through cognitive, emotional and social skills. “Resilience is not just about bouncing back from setbacks; it’s also about equipping children with the tools to navigate life’s uncertainties with confidence and adaptability.”

Here are nine practical ways parents can foster resilience in their young children, according to Assis:

  • Setting boundaries – She advises parents to set boundaries and encourage independence in their children. Saying ‘no’ when appropriate and allowing children to tackle tasks independently instils a sense of self-reliance and responsibility.
  • Avoiding overprotection – While ensuring safety is essential, she cautions against overprotecting children. Allowing them to explore, experiment and occasionally experience failure is crucial for their growth and resilience.
  • Building strong family bonds – A supportive and loving family environment lays the foundation for resilience. Spending quality time together, fostering open communication and nurturing emotional stability contribute to a child’s ability to cope with challenges.
  • Asking empowering questions – Assis suggests asking ‘how’ questions to encourage problem-solving skills and a positive outlook instead of focusing on mistakes. This approach helps children develop resilience by shifting their perspective from dwelling on failures to finding solutions.
  • Embracing mistakes – Making mistakes is a natural part of learning and development. Assis advocates for allowing children to make and learn from mistakes, emphasising that resilience is built through overcoming challenges.
  • Encouraging healthy risk-taking – It is key to highlight the importance of encouraging children to take calculated risks and step out of their comfort zone. Providing guidance on assessing risks and taking appropriate precautions empowers children to explore new opportunities confidently.
  • Storytelling and inspiration – Sharing stories of resilience and perseverance inspires children to believe in their own abilities. Assis recommends storytelling as a powerful tool for instilling values of determination, passion and resilience in young minds.
  • Positive communication – The tone of communication plays a significant role in shaping children’s perceptions and responses to challenges, with parents encouraged to communicate positively and emphasising encouragement and support rather than fear or negativity.
  • Providing unconditional support – While fostering independence, the importance of maintaining a supportive presence in children’s lives needs to be stressed. Knowing they have a reliable source of love and guidance gives children the confidence to navigate obstacles and seek help when needed.

In conclusion, Assis reiterates that parents play a crucial role in modelling resilient behaviour for their children. By incorporating these strategies into parenting practices, parents can empower their children to thrive in the face of adversity.

Dibber International Preschools is dedicated to supporting parents in this journey of fostering resilience and nurturing the next generation of confident, resilient individuals.

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