Helping Children Stand Tall Amid Adversity
By Kym Blanton on 04/16/2013
Crime, unemployment, divorce, and other stresses contribute to a generation of young children that need supportive adults to help ensure a positive future. The children in our communities need us to provide a model for flexibility in challenging situations. Our community must work together to build such resiliency in young children in order to build a hope-filled future. Parents, teachers, and local community members can make efforts to build hardiness in young children by helping them to recognize who they are, what they have, and what they can do.
Encouraging children to see themselves as valuable is a task worth taking. Helping children to identify who they are can provide a meaningful identity for them. “I am _______ (fill in the blank)” is a statement that all children should be able to complete with enthusiasm and a positive perspective of themselves.
Children gain their own self worth in part from the adults that influence them. Our goal is to invest in children so that they view themselves as smart, creative, resourceful, or have other positive views about who they are. When we rally around the youth in our community and encourage their positive worth, we raise a generation that has faith in their own abilities. Our positive affirmations of children have power to influence their future.
Recognizing the resources that are available to children is another way that we can work to build a future where children quickly recover from difficult conditions. Many children in our community may lack material wealth. This does not mean that their abilities and skills are wasted. Children need us to remind them of what they do have. Children should confidently know that “I have someone that believes in me.” Knowing that there is someone that will listen to them, provide a hug when needed and is their advocate, are all things that children want to have.
Monetary support is not always what our children need most. Helping children to become resilient in our community requires us to instill in them an ability to recognize the resources that they do have and to build upon their identified strengths using the resources available to them.
Lastly, to help children in our community to stand tall in the midst of adversity, we can grant children the permission to dream beyond their current situation. Children want to rise above poverty and unemployment. They want to live in a community where crime is not a concern and where they feel safe. We can grant them the permission to build a brighter future and brainstorm with them what steps they can take to overcome challenges. Allow children to move towards future goals.
We all face adversity. Often times we lack the skills we need to effectively move past our daily struggles. Even in the midst of hardship, we can take time to encouraging children in their strengths, provide them tools to build those strengths, and cheer children on as they take steps toward a better future to promote resiliency in them.