Presentation on theme: "Building Resiliency in Children"— Presentation transcript:
1 Building Resiliency in Children Carol Coussons de ReyesOCA AdministratorDHHS Nebraska:Division of Behavioral Health
2 First let’s talk about stress Stress is a life event or situation that causes imbalance in a child’s life. Stress is experienced in many forms and varies by the individual child, the child's developmental level and the child's previous life experience.
3 Stressors can be: Trauma Loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or movingChronic abuse, neglect or povertyExposure to violence or warNatural disasters such as fire, flood, or earthquakeChange in family compositionChange in schoolsParents disabled by physical or mental illnessPeer interaction
5 In Preschoolers:Regressive behavior such as bedwetting or thumb suckingFear of separation, especially from parents, or a fear of being left alone and abandonedFear of darkness, strangers or “monsters”Aggressive behavior or withdrawalChanges in eating habits or indigestionSleep disturbances, such as night terrorsBowel or bladder problemsComplaints of unexplainable pains
6 In School-agers: Excessive clinging Aggressive behavior, withdrawal or hyperactivityCrying or excessive sadness over the loss of a pet or a favorite objectAn inability to concentrateSleep disturbanceFear of noisesIrritabilityTalking constantly about the experienceHeadaches, nausea or complaints of vague aches and pains
7 What is resilience about? Adaptation to:TraumaDeathDivorceNatural DisastersThreatsPovertyMaltreatmentWarParents disabled by physical or mental illnessAPA, 2011; Masten, 1997
8 How Children CopeResiliency is a “self-righting tendency." Children often have a natural ability to self- right or bounce back. The resilient child recognizes a stressful event, often responds emotionally, recoils temporarily, then bounces back and returns to a prior emotional state figuring-out in his own way what he can do to manage the difficult situation.
9 There needs to be a balance for children between stressful events and having enough protective buffers in place to help them cope. When stressors outweigh the protective factor, even the most resilient child can develop problems.
10 Trauma Must End Safety must be restored for resilience to begin In chronic child abuseIn catastrophic eventsMasten, 1997
11 Teaching Children To Bounce Back When a child faces challenges, it's important to develop attributes of resilience. A caregiver can do this by………..
12 Building emotional strength When a child responds with fear, anger, disappointment or sadness, identify the emotion they are feeling and convey understanding or empathy. Observe the child until he returns to emotional stability.
13 Encouraging communication Validate the difficulty of the child’s situation and convey confidence that he can figure out a way to manage the situation effectively. Don’t approach the child as the “victim.”
14 Encouraging children to ask for support When troubles arise, encourage the older child to ask for help from a parent, family member, teacher, coach, clergy, friend, community support person or expert. When the child is able, suggest the child help others.
15 Building problem-solving skills Once emotions subside and the child is readyto communicate, identify the situation and askthe child what he can do to solve the problem.Validate the child’s ideas and offer a fewsuggestions, but don’t dominate. Allow him touse his own resources to manage the situation,if appropriate
16 Offering an optimistic view of life You being able to model is the most effective strategy. When problems arise, recognize them, but point out any silver lining in the troubled cloud. Help the child see that in time things will get better and life will again offer many moments of happiness!
17 Strategies to Reduce Stress at Home or in Child Care Dramatic play activitiesReduce stress through a low-stress environment by providing social support, modeling problem-solving skills and by teaching children to anticipate stress and learning new ways to avoid it.Have an exercise stationGive children extra transition warnings andsupport when necessaryUse a daily picture activity board so children can anticipate what the day's activities will include.Offer self-expressive activities through art, sand/water play, block play, play dough or clay and
18 Activities for Parents Provide unconditional loveEnforce rules & remove privileges when neededModel behavior in selfPraise accomplishmentsEncourage independent explorationAcknowledge and assist in labeling of feelingsSay “I know you can do it”Say “I’m here”Offer explanations with rulesEncourage empathy and caringEncourage language for problem solvingEncourage communication and sharing feelingsChristle, Harley, Nelson, & Jones, 2011
19 Tips for Building Resilience in Children and Teens Teach friendship building skills (empathy, when others feel pain)Teach your child age appropriate volunteeringMaintain a daily routineTeach distraction skillsTeach self-care by exampleTeach your child goal settingNurture a positive self-viewMaintain a hopeful outlookAccept change as part of livingAPA, 2011
20 What is Resilience in the Face of Stressful Events? How children “make it”Manifestations of competenceAbility to thrive, mature, & increase competenceDoes not mean unscarredMasten, 1997; Ohio State Bulletin, 2011
21 Cambodian Youth Holocaust Survivors in Minnesota Went to collegeHorrifying memoriesMade friendsJumpinessBuilt livesTimes of great sadnessDifficulty focusingMasten, 1997
22 Risk FactorsAny factor or combination of factors that increase the chances of an undesirable outcome affecting a personThey can be internal (within the individual) or external (involving the family, school, and community).Some examples of internal risk factors are;hyperactivity, concentration problems, restlessness, early involvement in antisocial behavior, and beliefs and attitudes favoring deviancy.External risk factors include conditions in the environment, such as the home, school, and community. Some examples are; a single-parent household, family’s poverty.School risk factors may involve overcrowding, a high student/teacher ratio, insufficient or inappropriate curriculum, and weak and inconsistent adult leadership.Factors in the community that may cause risks for children are high levels of neighborhood disorganization, high mobility rates, few adults to monitor children’s behavior, and high levels of drug and gang activity in the neighborhood. Some examples of external risk factorsMasten, 1997
23 Protective FactorsThe good news is that most children who grow up in families with many challenges do overcome the odds and manifest “resilience.” Resiliency may be explained by the presence of “protective factors,” those qualities or situations that help alter or reverse expected negative outcomes. Resiliency can be cultivated by providing and promoting these protective factors in a child’s life.Examples of protective factors;Average or better IQGood attention skillsStreet smartsSelf worthSelf efficacyFeelings of hopeMeaningfulness of lifeAttractiveness to othersTalents valuedFaith and religious affiliationsMentors outside the familySocioeconomic advantageGood schoolsMasten, 1997
24 Internal Protective Factors Protective factors can be internal (within the individual)Ability to take controlBe proactiveDecisivenessResponsibility for decisionsAccept abilities & limitsGoal directedRealistic about goalsKnow when to quitPositive outlookKnow how much to push self
25 External Protective Factors external (involving the family, school, and community)Caring RelationshipsPositive & High ExpectationsOpportunities for meaningful participationAttachment to one proactive family memberSense of belongingSense of purposeTold can & will be successfulPositive safe schoolsHigh & achievable academic standards
26 Parents and Teachers: Protective Factors Parents canGive attentionVisit teacher and administratorsTeachers canBe a positive role modelEncourage academic clubsBe trustworthyAdvocate for childOffer sincere interestPartner with teachersGive individual attentionTake care of physical/mental healthUse of ritualsChristle, Harley, Nelson, & Jones, 2011
27 Given the many challenges that parents and families face today Raising children to be physically and emotionally healthy can be a daunting task. Single parents, in particular, may need to reach out to schools and community agencies for assistance. You need to take care of your own physical and mental health in order to give your child the attention that he or she needs. Regardless of the particular challenges and risks that your family may be facing, to promote resiliency in your children keep in mind the three key themes:caring relationshipspositive and high expectationsopportunities for meaningful participation