Put simply, resilience is the ability to respond positively to adversity.
But how is this ability developed?
Are some people simply born with it or can we teach it to children? (And if so, how?)
We’ll address all of these questions in a moment.
But first let’s quickly recap what’s been discovered about resilience so far…
The first person to extensively research resilience was the developmental psychologist, Norman Garmezy.
In his research Garmezy noticed particular children who succeeded in the face of adversity.
These children experienced severe disadvantage or even neglect yet somehow still managed to flourish at school and in later life.
You see, prior to this research, psychologists tended to only look at the negative impact of stressful or traumatic experiences.
And while it is clearly important to help children deal with stressful events after they occur…
If resilience is able to “insulate” children against the negative effects of stress before they experience such challenges?
Helping children become more resilient at an early age may very well be the best long term strategy.