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Resources for Families

Building Resilience in Children

Resilience in Children

Building resilience in children helps them navigate difficult obstacles and overcome life stressors. In the coming weeks, we will be sharing information and tips for how you can help your child build resilience.

Infographic about Building Resilience in Children including a definition of resilience with two icons, a thought cloud with a smile and a sun with a winking, smiling face.

What Is Resilience and Why Does It Matter?

Resilient children tend to be happier, more motivated and engaged, and adopt a more positive attitude about difficult or challenging situations. How we view adversity and stress strongly affects how we succeed, and this is one of the most significant reasons that having a resilient mindset is so important.

COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty and stress for all of us. Now more than ever, we need to help our children navigate these difficult obstacles and adversities and build their resilience.

There are many possible risk factors affecting children during this time that can lead to distress: 

  • Shelter in place orders and disruption in former routine
  • Loss of family from COVID-19
  • Loss of family income
  • Virtual schooling
  • Lack of access to peers
  • Possible violence in the home
The Seven Cs - Character, Coping, Confident, Connection, Control, Contribution, Competence

The 7 C's: The Essential Building Blocks of Resilience

Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., M.S. Ed, a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has identified seven factors that help children develop their capacity for resilience.

He calls these the 7 C’s, and each has a profound impact on a children’s development. 

  • Character
  • Competence
  • Confidence
  • Connection
  • Contribution
  • Control
  • Coping
Infographic with seven circles with icons surrounding the words "Creating Connections Can Help Your Child"

Creating Connections

Helping your child create connections has wide-reaching benefits to their mental and physical well-being. According to Dr. Kenneth Greenberg, connections with other people, schools, and communities offer young people the security that allows them to stand on their own and develop creative solutions. 

Creating connections can also help your child:

  • Appreciate Nature
  • Connect with School
  • Develop Strong Relationships
  • Form Bonds with Extended Family
  • Get Involved in the Community
  • Increase Play Time with Your Child
  • Make Family Connections
Infographic about building empathy in children

Building Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, and it is an important trait to develop in young children. 

Here are a few ways that parents and caregivers can help a child build empathy:

  • Consider and Honor Others' Perspectives
  • Do Nice Things for Others
  • Engage in Community Service
  • Focus on Kindness and Compassion for Self and Others
  • Model BehaviorUse Phrases Like "I'm sorry. I'm glad you told me. How can I help you?"
  • Practice Self-Care
  • Talk About Family Challenges
  • Teach Feelings and Self-Regulation
Infographic highlighting ways to increase interactions with children and replacing screen time with family moments.

Increasing Interactions

Interactions between parent and child are essential to their development. Spending time with your child – and taking their eyes away from a screen – is easy and fun. Here are a few activities you can do with your child:

  • Play a Game
  • Go for a Walk
  • Plan a Picnic Indoors or Outdoors
  • Build a Fort
  • Read Together
  • Exercise Together
  • Play Pretend Grocery Store or Restaurant
Building Character Infographic

Building Character

In a world filled with social media and mixed messages, it is important for parents to actively teach and model character traits.

Tips for Building Character:

  • Model kindness, compassion, caring, and thoughtful behaviors.
  • Notice and acknowledge when your child and others are kind, thoughtful, compassionate, and caring.
  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Be inclusive of all people.
  • Be patient with others.
  • Volunteer and contribute to the greater good.
  • Care about nature.
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