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Resilience in Children
|by Kamna Raj|
The concept of resilience is not new, but defining it has always been a problem. So a number of international meetings have addressed the construct of resilience. It is the conclusions of these meetings, together with the literature, have led to the definition of resilience.
"Resilience is a universal capacity which allows a person, group or community to prevent, minimize or overcome the damaging effects of adversity."
An International Resilience Project, using this definition was set out to examine parents, care givers or children do that seems to promote resilience. To launch this study, an advisory committee made up of international organizations was formed comprising the Civitan International Research Organization, UNESCO, PAHO, WHO, International Children's Center, International Catholic Child Bureau and Bernard Van Leer Foundation.
Edith Grotberg has carefully categorized the findings drawn from this project into three main categories each having five parts. The categories are: I Have, I Am, I Can.
The I HAVE factors are the external supports and resources that promotes resilience. The resilient child says…
Structure and rules at home
Encouragement to be autonomous
Access to health, education, welfare, and security services
The I AM factors are the child's internal, personal strengths. The resilient child says…
Loving, empathetic and altruistic
Proud of myself
Autonomous and responsible
Filled with hope, faith and trust
The I CAN factors are the child's social and interpersonal skills. The resilient child says…
Manage my feelings and impulses
Gauge the temperament of myself and others
Seek trusting relationships
Children develop over time at different rates and so some information may be appropriate for younger or older children not necessarily within their chronological age group. Important thing is that you promote resilience as a parent.
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