In her article in the July 2014 issue of Exchange, “Making Happy Happen: Building Resilience in Children,” Rachel Robertson points out that “one of the best ways to nurture happiness is to prepare children for the adversity they are guaranteed to encounter in life: in other words, develop their resilience.” In the article, Robertson shares seven elements that contribute to a child’s resilience as identified by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg:
- Competence: A child’s competence is built through opportunities to fully develop and master specific skills or strengths.
- Confidence: Children need to have a general belief in themselves and their abilities.
- Connection: Strong relationships serve as a safety net for all individuals, particularly children.
- Character: Although the lines between right and wrong are still blurry in the early years, children are beginning to develop an internal moral code to guide them… as they make increasingly complex decisions.
- Contribution: Having opportunities to make a positive impact are essential to children’s sense of worth.
- Coping: Children need to develop internal coping responses that allow them to navigate challenges without turning to destructive behaviors or relying solely on others to help them through difficult times.
- Control: From their first assertive “NO!,” young children declare their control over their own lives.