Resilience refers to a child’s ability to navigate life and it’s hardships without having said hardships negatively impact their wellbeing. Allowing positive and negative emotions to exist creates an environment where the child is exposed to opportunities and challenges without feeling overwhelmed or incapable of handling tough situations.

Fast Facts

1. Resilience is critical for a child to be able to navigate throughout their life.

2. Resilience and negative emotions can co-occur and contribute to overall emotional development.

3. Having at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult is the most common factor in children who develop resilience.

4. The brain is most adaptable during early childhood, but resilience can be built at any age through age appropriate practices such as exercising and engaging in other stress-reduction practices.

In Depth Look

There are many contributing factors that lead a child to develop resilience, most substantially though is the relationship that child has with a parent or caregiver. Resilience is built upon having a stable, healthy, and open relationship with a consistent adult figure. Having that open and caring relationship allows the child to have a buffer when with a developmental disruption. This relationship is most needed when a child faces adversity, whether it being temporary or continual.
When children are faced with a challenge, research has found that there are 4 factors that allow children to have a positive outcome, most prominently amongst those factors is having a health relationship with adults in their lives. Overall, resilience allows for the child to develop coping mechanisms that allow them to develop and grow throughout their life.

Harvard: Developing Child
University of Minnesota: Project for Babies
The Science of Early Childhood Development

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics