Thursday, March 29, 2012

Teaching Resilience

When a child comes to you with a problem or challenge they are facing, how do you handle it?  Do you immediately solve it for them?  Do you give them some time to think it out?  Do you brush it off with an 'I don't know'?
We all face problems and challenges in our lives, children are no different.  It is how we role model and empower them to overcome these stressors that teach them the skills they need to become resilient and optimistic. 
"One of the key abilities associated with resilience is
problem solving. Learning problem-solving skills is a
significant contributor to children’s socio-emotional wellbeing."
 All aspects of a childcare environment can promote the children's thinking and reasoning, cause and effect skills, and emotional response. So how do we incorporate problem solving into our daily routine?  Through activities like playdough, block building, sand and water play.  Also, by asking children questions you help them get to the root of the problem;  "why do you think that happened?" or "what will you do to fix that?".  There is always going to be the child who says "I don't know" so be ready with open-ended questions that will guide them to an answer. And don't feel shy about talking your own dilemmas out loud..."how am I going to get this paper work done in time?", "where can I get some ideas for art?", "that made me so frustrated, I'm going to sit down and take some deep breaths".

The learning program called "Reaching In...Reaching Out" is one that out team did and have benefited greatly from.  It teaches the adult to teach themselves to be resilient and then shows how we can empower the children to do the same.  You can find the program and some very helpful articles at their website:
Reaching In...Reaching Out

Until You Read Again....

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