We are shaped by our experiences and our environments. It’s how we interpret the world around us that can shape our development.
With that in mind, what does it mean to be resilient?
We often think resilience is something that just comes naturally. However, resilience needs to be taught and modeled. Resilience is how we each respond to adversity, trauma, or tragedy. Resilience is how we deal with difficult situations and move forward from them. We can continually add tools and skills to our wellness toolbox to adapt to life’s challenges in more positive ways. Many resilience building blocks look small and are often simple. Together they can form a solid foundation (or Cornerstone, if you will), on which the capacity to thrive is built. Thriving communities are those that recognize the importance and support building both individual and community resilience.
A Few Tips
- Calming oneself. Managing emotions is hard. Start using five deep breathes or counting to ten to help your child calm down.
- Expressing feelings. When are able to recognize our different emotions and give names to them, we can work to tame those feelings.
- Giving choices. This helps build decision-making skills and teachings that every choice has a consequence (some good and some not).
- Mastering a skill. It takes time to learn and master new skills. In doing so, children learn competence, perseverance, and commitment.
- Showing empathy. Think about being a child and the feelings of being small and powerless. Modeling this behavior and sensitivity will serve your family well during these tough times and beyond.
- Developing self-esteem. Our self-esteem begins with the messages we receive from our parents and caregivers. Celebrate successes, even small ones. Let children know that you love them for who they are and not what you want them to be.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ACE Study
- Aces Too High (a news resource)
- ACES Connection, a community of practice social network
- Community Resilience Initiative
- Resilience Research – What Works
- Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
- Child Trends tool kit – How to Implement Trauma-informed Care to Build Resilience to Childhood Trauma
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network
- National Council for Behavioral Health: Trauma Informed Care
- Alberta Family Wellness
- Sesame Street in Communities
- Conscious Discipline
- LeBron James Family Foundation and The I Promise School
- Family & Children’s Trust Fund of Virginia
- The Community Collaborative for Youth and Families
- Be Well Rappahannock Council
- SelfReg by Stuart Shanker
- Your Survival Instinct is Killing Youby Marc Schoen
- A Force for Good by Daniel Goldman with Dalai Lama
- Help for Billy by Heather Forbes
- Childhood Disrupted and Last Best Cure by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
- Managing Emotional Mayhem by Becky Bailey
- Born for Love and The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook by Dr. Bruce Perry
- The Deepest Well by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
- The Whole Brain Child by Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson
- Trauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky with Connie Burk
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.
- Teachers' Guide to Trauma: 20 things kids with trauma wish their teachers knew by Dr. Melissa Sadin and Nathan Levy
- Community: the Structure of Belonging by Peter Block
- Bowling Alone by Robert Putman (he has other books as well)
- Transformational Resilience by Bob Doppelt
- Inner Matrix by Joel Klein
- Transforming Anxiety by Heartmath Institute
- The Resilience Factor by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte
- Building Resilience in Children and Teens by Ken Ginsburg
- Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies by Sandra Bloom
- Lost Connections by Johann Hari
- How Emotions are Madeby Lisa Feldman Barrett
- The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
- Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
- The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Gary Rubinstein and Mark Pett
- I Am Enough by Grace Byers
- Ricky The Rock That Couldn't Roll by Jay Miletsky
- Sticks by Diane Alber
- The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
- The Magic Hat Shop by Sonja Wimmer
Check out these apps
- Stop, Breathe & Think
- Mindfulness for Children
- Thrive Global
- Smiling Mind
- Sleep Meditations for Kids
- Breathe, Think, Do Sesame
- Kids Yoga Deck
- Breathing Bubbles
- Positive Penguins
- Super Stretch Yoga
- Super Better
- Say it...Or not?
- Do it… Or not?
“Paper Tigers: One High School’s Unlikely Success Story” – Chronicles a year in the life of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Wash. Lincoln’s principal implements radical changes to the school’s approach to discipline. The film shows how students go from getting into fights and being on the cusp of dropping out to finding healing, support and academic promise.
“Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope” – Delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress.
“Inside Out” – This Pixar animated film is a great family conversation-starter, and helps viewers of all ages think about how the various emotions they are born with—fear, anger, sadness, joy—govern their actions and reactions.