Bonnie Benard and Emmy Werner’s version of knowing children’s resiliency will be tackled in this article. The version is easy to recall and apply as it is practical and straightforward. Their research focuses on kids who grew up in countries affected by war, children who grew up in poverty and those children who have single parents.
The best way to point it out to children is to ask them who made them strong. Thinking about the person or persons in their life who helped them to be strong and help them to be the person they are today will come up with the behaviors and qualities the adults initially possess to be known to them. This behavior and conditions will then lead to resiliency skills that they learned.
Resiliency skills can be taught to children both informally and formally. Benard and Werner categorized resiliency skills into four areas and protective factors into three types:
The four areas of resiliency skills are as follows: a sense of purpose and future, problem-solving skills, social skills, and autonomy. Children having a sense of purpose means that they have goals and expectations and that they know what kind of person they would want to be in the future. Problem-solving skill is one area that can be applied in life. It knows how to connect situations and come up with a solution that is better.
Social abilities, on the other hand, is innate in any human being, as we all know, a man is not an island. Modeling from a person with high authority is one example of resiliency skill earned through social skills. Lastly, autonomy is the children’s ability to continue their plan even though others are disapproving of it.
Protective Factors Foster Resiliency
The three protective factors that foster resiliency are as follows: caring and support, high expectations and meaningful participation. Children need to know that adults around them care and support what they do, what happens to them and that they will receive the necessary support from the adults.
Another protective factor is high expectations. This just means that the adults encourage the children to do their best to meet their expectation and they will receive positive feedback in return. Meaningful participation means that the children will do things and actions that benefit all. They will also feel the good in the involvement. “A factor that has been largely ignored, however, particularly among child and family policymakers, is the prevalence and devastating effects of parental disengagement from children’s lives, and in particular father absence in children’s lives. Inasmuch as co-parenting maximizes the involvement of both parents in children’s lives after parental separation and divorce, it is preventive of addiction,” says Edward Kruk, Ph.D., associate professor of Social Work at the University of British Columbia.
Any adult can contribute to the development of the child’s resiliency. We may not recognize it, but the most straightforward stuff can make the child resilient enough to face the world.
What Specifics Do We Teach About Alcohol And Other Drugs?
There are different specifics to teach about alcohol and other drugs:
Think – it is the parent’s responsibility to think and find ways to keep their child away from harm. Similar to the prevention of diseases at an early age, alcohol, and drug use should be taught to children in elementary or middle school for early prevention.
Be age-appropriate – it is advisable to start educating children regarding drugs and alcohol at an early age. Parents should teach them that not all they see is correct and should be copied, especially those actions which may pose a threat to the child’s and other people’s health and safety. “Studies demonstrate that language has a direct impact on implicit and explicit bias, and that talking about disorders of addiction and their related behaviors differently can help remove what many people find to be an insurmountable barrier to seek treatment known to be as effective as for other medical diseases and disorders,” wrote Jonathan Stevens, M.D., MPH, chief of Outpatient Services and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Menninger Clinic and assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine. “Just a shift in our own language and word choice can open the doors and encourage those whose lives lay in the balance to safely ask for help,” he says.
Start early, keep at it – Children at a young age should be taught the necessary information regarding their own health and safety. It is preferable that the parents continuously remind and teach their children to make sure that the knowledge is retained in their memory. Parents should also answer the child’s every question truthfully. “There is no easy, single answer, but researchers believe it comes down to a combination of genetics, trauma from childhood, and other psychiatric problems, such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. By the time a person is addicted, their behaviors are conditioned, and the brain changes that have occurred make stopping seem like an impossibility,” explains David Sacks, M.D.
Use teachable moments – these moments are everywhere. It may be seen in the news, a commercial, or happening in the neighborhood. It is a good starter for communication to teach the child regarding morals, and what will others feel if they are in the same situation.