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Raising Resilient Kids Kelley Bolton, Psy.D.

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2 Raising Resilient Kids Kelley Bolton, Psy.D.

3 Resiliency is… the ability to… bounce back from adversity stronger, wiser, and more self-confident. Temperament Learned

4 The Search Institute 1958 - founded 1990 - first Developmental Assets research published more strengths = greater chance of growing up successfully James Heckman research on success Perry Preschool Project cognitive vs. noncognitive skills What does research show??







11 Protective Factors are… strengths that help individuals bounce back from adversity Developmental Assets – External – Internal Developmental Relationships

12 Protective Factors are not… I’m a shoe-in for mom of the year!! I wonder when I should tell her that I have to go to the bathroom??

13 External Assets Support – to be surrounded by people who love, appreciate, and accept them; spend time in places where people care about them Empowerment – to feel valued and valuable; this happens when youth feel safe and respected Boundaries and Expectations – clear rules, consistent consequences, and encouragement to always do their best Constructive Use of Time – opportunities outside of school to enjoy themselves, develop new skills, and build positive relationships with other youth and adults

14 Internal Assets Commitment to Learning – commitment to the lasting importance of learning and a belief in their own abilities Positive Values – develop strong guiding values or principles to help them make healthy, faithful, and moral life choices Social Competencies – skills to build positive relationships, put their values into action, and cope with new situations Positive Identity – sense of their self-worth, power, purpose, and promise


16 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Support Assets – family support; positive family communication; other adult relationships; caring neighborhood; caring school environment; parent involvement in schooling Tips – Involvement at school - promotes learning and can affect teacher attitudes toward your children – Look at children when you speak to them, it is a simple way to let them know you care – When you and your child disagree, be respectful and let her or him know it’s okay for people in families to have different opinions.

17 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Empowerment Assets – community values youth; youth as resources; service to others; safety Tips – Include your children in family decisions (i.e., what to serve for dinner, assigning chores, family trips and activities) – Kids are proud of what they can do, but they don’t always need to hear praise; Acknowledge what they have done and how they feel about their accomplishments – Support personal expression through special interests (i.e., drawing, telling detailed stories, building model cars)

18 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Boundaries and Expectations Assets – family boundaries; school boundaries; neighborhood boundaries; adult role models; positive peer influence; high expectations Tips – Be clear about family expectations (e.g., working hard even at tasks you don’t like; being friendly to others; sharing household chores) – Be firm with boundaries, even when your kids are being cute – Engage your children in conversations about behaviors you see in public or in entertainment (such as movies and television). Ask them what they think is appropriate and inappropriate and why.

19 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Constructive Use of Time Assets – creative activities; youth programs; religious community; time at home Tip – Monitor your kids’ schedules. Beyond organized activities, children need family time, homework time, playtime, and quiet time – Continue to play together—no matter how old your kids are. Ride bikes. Take a class. Fix or build something. – Monitor where your children go, who they are spending time with, and what they’re doing. “Time stays long enough for those who use it.” Leonardo da Vinci

20 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Commitment to Learning Assets – achievement motivation; school engagement; homework; bonding to school; reading for pleasure Tip – Be available when children have questions, but don’t be an “answer person” – Encourage your child to discover and deepen special interests (ex: music - learn more about musical instruments or attend a concert together (that your child picks). – Help your child understand his or her learning profile, and find ways to promote learning strengths.

21 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Positive Values Assets – caring; equality and social justice; integrity; honesty; responsibility; restraint Tip – You are both teacher and role model of positive values. The ways in which you talk about values and live by them will strongly influence your children’s development of them. – Teach children about integrity in simple ways. For example, explain, “When someone thanks you for doing something you didn’t do, it’s important to say so. You can say, ‘Thanks for thanking me, but my brother did it.’” – Realize that in order to learn from mistakes, children have to make mistakes. Try to avoid blowing up when they make a poor choice, but don’t rescue them from natural consequences.

22 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Social Competencies Assets – Planning and decision making; interpersonal competence; cultural competence; resistance skills; peaceful conflict resolution Tip – Talk about what you and your children think makes a good friend. (e.g., good friends care about each other; listen to each other; help each other) – Teach your kids that friends who pressure them to do things they know they shouldn’t do are not true friends. – Involve them in planning activities (e.g. create an invitation; make a list of supplies needed, etc.)

23 Building Assets, Developing Resilience ( Positive Identity Assets – Personal power; self-esteem; sense of purpose; positive view of personal future Tip – Let children do things their own way sometimes, even if it doesn’t make sense to you (e.g., washing and drying each dish one at a time) – Collect inspiring quotations. Hang them on bathroom mirrors, doors, refrigerators, and hallway walls. Have children collect and post their favorites, too – Use labeled praise – “You are so kind to help your sister find her stuffed animal.” – Help your children understand the difference(s) between what we can and can’t control. (e.g., we can control what we say and do; we can’t control what other people say and do.)


25 References and Resources Search Institute – – Tough, P. (2012). How children succeed: grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. e&v=3rUWDvuBOHY#t=14 e&v=3rUWDvuBOHY#t=14 Reaching In… Reaching Out: Promoting Resilience in Young Children – Devereux Center for Resilient Children –

26 For more information visit our website and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on what is going on at Southeast Psych!

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