Developing new skills at any age can take time and a lot of trial and error. If your little one is learning to talk, they are going to mispronounce words. If your little one is learning how to walk, they are going to fall and have to pick themselves up to try again. This is when they start to build their resilience, or the ability to recover from challenges or difficult life events. As our little ones grow up and begin to learn about the complex world we live in, they will learn that facing challenges and obstacles is inevitable; it’s how we respond to those challenges that we learn resilience.
Little ones are sponges, soaking up and learning from every new experience. This is because their brains are still developing — specifically their prefrontal cortex which stores memories. This is one of the reasons little ones are able to learn multiple languages more efficiently than adults. If little ones are taught and encouraged to bounce back from a disappointment from the beginning of their child development, they can learn and grow to be curious, brave, adaptable, and self-reliant.
Here are some ways you can help your little one build resilience as part of their child development:
A Safe Space
Create a safe home environment full of love and support, where little ones feel comfortable to express how they are feeling and talk about their emotions. Work together to find solutions and helpful tools for how to work through big feelings in the future.
Talk About Change
Talk about accepting and embracing change. One of the only constants in this world is change. Change can feel uncomfortable and hard, especially during child development; friends move away, we start at new schools, our favorite places close. When plans change, that does not mean we give up! Change can be an invitation to find something new. Maybe we call our friends who moved away once a week to stay in touch, or find a new favorite place to explore. Obstacles will always be thrown in the way of what we want — we have to teach our little ones how to go around them. Moving through change and hard times is what builds resilience.
Allow Them to Fail
Making mistakes is not only part of learning and child development, it’s also part of life! We all make mistakes every day; and while they can bring us down, it’s up to us to not let them keep us down. It can be tempting to try to protect your little ones from their own mistakes, but watching them pick themselves up and try something else builds their resilience. Always be willing to help if they need it, but watch as they might resolve their problem on their own.
Raise with Respect
Raise your little ones to respect everyone around them. Each person is learning how to move through the world, and it’s a lot more enjoyable when we are kind to each other. Rather than teaching your little one to be “nice” or “polite,” teach them to show kindness and respect; to treat others the way they want to be treated, especially when times get tough. Teach them optimism and how staying positive can help them (and everyone) solve the problems they face through child development and into adulthood.
All we want for our kids is for them to grow up and walk into the world with confidence. When we are confident in who we are, we know that if and when we fall, we can and will get back up. If all of our little ones are raised learning kindness, respect, and resilience, we have a beautiful generation in front of us!
Reference Article: https://www.superpowerkids.net/2021/02/09/building-resilience-in-children/
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Hi, I'm Miss Julia!
Miss Julia has been an early childhood educator for 5 years, with over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She has been teaching at Playgarden Prep since 2017, and is happy to share ideas on some of her favorite early education topics with you! Miss Julia has a BA from UC Irvine, and uses her experience in performing arts to inspire little ones every day in her enrichment classes at Playgarden. In her free time, Miss Julia loves enjoying nature, cooking, and creating with friends.