Resilience is to develop a strength to cope with hardships, trauma, miseries, threats or major sources of stress such as relationship difficulties, financial hardships or discriminations (APA, 2014). The bouncing back ability based on an understanding of risk aspects that can deter the successful adaptation and maintenance of usual functioning within various conditions and backgrounds (Wu, Feder & Mathe, 2013). Being resilient assists to promote social and emotional well-being. Every one meets challenges in life, whereas each person has an extent of resilience.
Nevertheless some children are more resilient than others (Benard, 2004). A child improves a sense of achievement by overcoming the challenges, which strengthen the child to deal with the forthcoming major challenges. Resilience will help the children to bounce back from the challenges such as, friendship issues, moving to a new house, bullying, and death of a loved one, parent’s separation or hectic schedules. Resilience can be taught to any individual, at any age and does not depend on an inborn ability or personality. Resilience helps to reduce the risk of childhood depression and anxiety, lessen the risk of mental health issues, and also an analyst of achievement with study or employment (Macleod, et al, 2016). From the early age, resilient children able to have a tendency to meet the world on own terms (E.Werner, 1989).
Resilient children can overcome the challenges and bounce back to the regular life quicker because of the strong self-esteem and the confidence. Likewise the children with resilience use the inner strength and positive support from others to overcome the problems and conflicts to guarantee the quality of life is not compromised (Jackson, 2002). Werner found that resilience could change over time. Even though the children who were not resilient in the beginning, able to learn the skills of resilience to overcome the adversity later in life. There are some characteristics of a child who is resilient. Such as, be able to motivate on own inherently, able to express the thoughts and feelings, keep on trying and use trial and error approach (AeU,n.d.).
Resiliency is not something that children have or don’t have. Children being resilient throughout the life and need to start as soon as possible. Children learn by observing the adults. The positive coping abilities are learned and dependent upon the child having a relationship with a caring adult who teaches and strengthens the positive skills (Kevin Dwyer, 2013).
Schools plays a most important role to build resilience among young children. Educating children at an early age about how to care for own mental health, through an understanding of what good mental health looks like, and also the methods to improve resilience will support the children through the challenges. Working with children can be challenging, especially when facing an enduring hardship. The children with low amount of resilience be able to find extremely difficult to bounce back during challenging times.
There are many best practices which can be integrated into classrooms to promote resilience among children. In fact, the children need outside supports and inner strength together to build resilience (Best start resource Centre, 2017). Caring relationships, positive role models and community resources are shown as outside supports. Similarly inner strength includes self-control, thinking skills, confidence, positive outlook and responsibilities and participation. Nowadays building resilience in the classroom is an important part in children’s education. The classroom management relies on routines which are well known to increase children’s comfort and these kinds of structures are almost routinely in place. The teachers use problem solving steps to improve children’s resilience in classroom. The teachers should not always protect the kids from daily obstructions.
Children need to experience the failures and challenges on day to day life. By improving the skills and abilities of the child, and improving the environments around the child, will be supportive to build children’s resilience. Consequently, when building resilience in children need to focus on children as well as the environment including the parents, family, peers and learning and public settings (Beyond Blue Ltd, 2017). As a teacher, when considering the practice of day-to-day approaches in classroom, it’s essential to note that any approach to build resilience in children needs to take into consideration the individual child and unique circumstances. Some strategies are being followed by teachers to build children’s resilience level in the classroom.
Children feel safe and secure through a close relationship with at least one caring person (Best start resource Centre, 2017). Concentrating on close, loving attachment with children is a big support to build resilience among the children. Activities are done by children at level best when the love and affection is given properly. Feeling loved help children to overcome the hardships in life and gives them the confident to explore the world independently. Help children to build resilience by becoming more understanding or able to see from others point of view (Petty, 2012). Children are provided with opportunities to practice empathy. For example, when the teacher read out a book for a group of children about a character who is having a challenging time, teacher asks the children about individual feelings pretending that children experiencing the same difficulties in the character. When all the children relate them to the character and express the feelings, children start to realize that others have some of the same feelings and may begin to recognize the feelings in others and experience sympathy, perception, and empathy.
Children observe and absorb what parents and teachers do and try to apply the same thing to the life. As a teacher, being able to handle difficult situations in a positive way lead to build resilience on children. Thus, a teacher should be a positive role model in the classroom. Therefore, the children learn to deal with all the challenges in a positive way as well. Taking care of own health by eating healthy foods ,by bringing healthy snack to school and get adequate physical workout via doing some sort of exercises in the morning before starting any activities ,done by teachers and followed by children to provide a mental and physical strength to handle serious difficulties. In the classroom, children are being provided various opportunities to take care of each and everything as well as cleaning the spaces and helping each other to get better environment around.
Prominently, children are being encouraged in a positive and supportive way when working on a challenging task. For instance, the teacher encourages the child while undertaking challenging tasks saying that even though the task is difficult the child is doing a good job and trying the level best to complete the task. As a teacher, listening to children and let the children know about, encourages to discuss about how the challenging task is making to feel. When the children express the feelings, thoughts or ideas the teachers listen with high interest which let them to know that whatever the children say is important. Teachers never failed to keep an eye contact with children while talking or expressing the feelings. Paying attention as well as intentionally caring by listening is a great protective aspect for children to lead a way in building resilience (Karen Petty, 2014).
Feeling better or having less emotional reactions are simply not the meaning of being resilient, but certainly about handling and responding to emotions in a healthy and positive way (Beyond Blue Ltd,2017). When a child is upset and worried, admit the experiences and feelings in the moment. For example, say to the child, “I can understand that you’re unhappy”, and “It’s absolutely alright to cry”. Teachers or caregivers are always to ask open ended questions when talking with children. For example, “what would you like to do today? What is bothering you to not to do the activity?” by asking open ended questions, children learn to express the feelings and get opportunities to help children to develop handling and problem solving skills.
Totally, avoid making assumptions on behalf of children. Listening to children’s explanation of the difficulty experienced, and finding out the value makes great resilience in children. Rather than assuming what had happened, teacher could ask “what went wrong?”, “what’s the difficulty you are facing in this activity?”
Engaging children to consider for the possible solutions on own will give a sense of control and self-confidence. Children have opportunities to shape up the self-confidence and acquire knowledge how to deal with difficulties, achievement and disappointment when going through various challenges. Providing with opportunities to experience everyday hardships in the classroom helps to build resilience in children. Even though arranging the materials after completing an activity in a proper order in relevant places is a challenge for young children. Teachers, with patience instruct the children to do as slow and steady without any rush. When the child is frustrated for not arranging the materials properly, the teacher could say, “it’s ok, let’s not hurry, what if we arrange in this way”, then the child might feel comfortable and confident, hence a great way to build resilience.
Enlighten to the children that mistakes are not deadly and can be corrected from redoing or practicing it again and again. Provide children the chance to have a “do-over” or the opportunity to redo a “mistaken behavior” (Gartrell, 2003).Encouraging children mostly on free play to balance other structured and goal oriented approaches, and also allowing kids to use creativity and develop imagination, skills, and other powers provides with exceptional openings to build resilience (Vincent Iannelli,2019).
Teach children to set goals and guide to move towards step by step and get praises for doing so children will concentrate on whatever have accomplished. For instance, making a sandwich would be a challenge for a young child. Whereas the child makes step by step as instructed to get a delicious sandwich. While the child is on process of making sandwich, the teacher constantly praise and encourage the child for whatever is done so far.