There are a series of factors currently emerging from studies which promote the development of emotional resilience in children. A number of these studies have looked at children who have overcome adversity, such as the death of parents, growing up in a war zone and children who have been enveloped in a natural disaster for example. A now well known analysis from researchers at the University of Minnesota in 1990 showed that children are much more likely to recover or bounce back if they:
- Have a positive relationship with at least one competent adult,
- Are good learners,
- Are good problem solvers
- Are engaging and engage with other people
- Have their own areas of competence that are valued by them-self (self-worth) and others (value).
We know from our own work into the development of emotional literature (the ability to recognise and perceive emotions in themselves and others), that children who are encouraged to ask questions and develop autonomous learning and problem solving skills (as opposed to being taught) tend to be more emotionally agile, able to regulate their own emotions better, suffer from less anxiety related issues and are more resilient. Certainly there are positive indications that developing critical and creative thinking skills are two further factors in the development of emotional resilience. The people who tend to do the best at dealing with their anxiety on The Fear Course those with reasonable reasoning skills.
These five factors are not the only requirements for the development of emotional resilience. I will review those in a forthcoming blog.
We are putting together a guide for developing emotional resilience in children. If you would like to get a copy pop your details in the boxes below and we will let you know as soon as it is ready.
Masten, A.S. et al (1990) Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology / Volume 2 / Issue 04 / October 1990, pp 425-444