The Importance of Teaching Resilience to Children

September 5, 2019
Teaching resilience to children gives them the resources they need to obtain a healthy and happy life. It's not just about looking for the silver lining and focusing on the bright side of things. Rather, it's about acquiring essential life skills.

Resilience refers to the ability to face difficult situations and come out stronger despite adversity. Of course, it goes without saying that children must receive the care and protection of adults. However, teaching resilience to children from a young age can be a good resource for developing progressive autonomy.

Researches from the Minnesota Department of Health determined that resilience is the result of a set of dynamic interactions between a person’s adverse experiences and protective factors. While this may sound complex, we’ll offer further clarification below.

Teaching resilience to children and its application in real life

It’s not uncommon to encounter individuals and families that have lived through extremely difficult experiences but have managed to overcome them. But, at the same time, it’s also easy to see friends and family members who crumble in the face of the slightest inconvenience.

So, what sets one group apart from the other?

The Importance of Teaching Resilience to Children

There are undoubtedly genetic, social and behavioral factors that play a role in these differences. However, various studies agree that the deciding factor is resilience. 

In the study of physics, resilience is “the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched or pressed,” (Cambridge Dictionary).

When it comes to resilience in humans, it refers to “the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened,” (Cambridge).

Resilience: Does it make us different?

Two families affected by the pain of the loss of a child will mourn differently. For example, the first family may collapse in the face of tragedy. At the same time, the other family may manage to move on to different stages of mourning, which include:

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Acceptance

Teaching resilience to children: A course of substantial change

So, it seems that resilience is the link that can produce substantial change in the way a person views and reacts to problems. The factors that nourish resilience are the following:

Often considered to be a life skill, resilience occupied an important place in the previous decade and continues to do so. This doesn’t mean that resilience is the universal cure to all difficult situations. However, it’s an essential skill that we must promote in our homes and in our classrooms.

The Importance of Teaching Resilience to Children

Conclusion

Resilience is the ability that a person possesses to overcome problems and transform obstacles into strengths. While certain biological and innate components may come into play, the good news is that resilience is something that people can learn and comprehend.

Juan de Dios Uriarte, from the Developmental Psychology Department and the Masters of Education School of Bilbao, Spain, points out that:

“School can be a context for the integral development and promotion of resilience to all students, disadvantaged or not, if it is able to exceed the mere cognitive function of teaching and learning. […] In doing so, it will become a true space of communication, giving all students opportunities to establish positive bonds that, in some cases, make up for negative experiences in other social contexts.”

–Juan de Dios Uriarte–