ELC Update – Building Resilience in Young Children

All children will experience obstacles and challenges as part of their everyday lives.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back when these challenges or setbacks occur. It is important children begin to develop resilience from a young age, as it builds their confidence and helps them to feel more prepared for the next time they encounter a challenge. Young children build resilience over time and with experience.

“Building resilience helps children not only to deal with current difficulties that are part of everyday life, but also develop the basic skills and habits that will help them deal with challenges later in life, during adolescence and adulthood.” Beyond Blue

When things do not go well, children can feel anxious, sad, disappointed, afraid or frustrated.  Resilience helps them to understand these uncomfortable emotions do not last forever and they can work through them.

Relationships are integral to building resilience. Strong, positive relationships with family and educators help children to feel safe, secure and loved. This sense of security provides the child confidence to explore their world and recover from any setbacks they may experience.

Children learn resilience through experience. Each time they overcome a problem, it builds their confidence and skills to manage the next challenge. Resilient children are often more willing to try, even if things do not go the way they had hoped. They have the confidence and problem solving skills to work their way through a range of different situations.

Here are some examples of how children can build resilience:

Encourage Independence – provide your child time and space to solve problems for themselves. Avoid predicting and preventing problems for your child as you will be denying them the opportunity to learn and grow. Ask questions and bounce the problem back to the child, then brainstorm solutions together. Children will demonstrate how competent and capable they can be when given the opportunity.

Identify, Acknowledge and Manage Emotions – help your child to identify and manage their emotions. Talk to them about how they are feeling and acknowledge those feelings. For example, “It’s okay to be feeling sad because we can’t visit Grandma at the moment. What could you do to tell Grandma how much you miss her?”

Promote a ‘Can Do’ Attitude – encourage your child to have a go or try again when they think they cannot do something or, when things do not work out the first time. As adults we need to promote the importance of trying or “having a go” and acknowledge the child’s efforts.

Embrace Mistakes – it is important children understand it is okay to make mistakes and that it is how we learn and grow. This should be modelled and promoted with young children.  Our aim is to promote a growth mindset.

Promote Healthy Risk Taking – it is important for young children to experience a healthy level of risk. They need to experience what it feels like to step outside their comfort zone.  This might include trying an activity or skill they have not previously tried, interacting with new people, or trying out new play equipment at the playground.

Promote Optimism – optimism and resiliency go hand in hand. Optimism can be nurtured in young children. Your conversations and questions can help support the child to see the positives in situations rather than becoming fixated on the negative.

Encourage Problem Solving Skills – if your child talks to you about an issue that has occurred during their day, rather than giving them solutions, ask them what they could do or who they could talk to about this problem if they encounter the same thing again. Through encouragement you are providing your child strategies and a plan for how to handle similar situations in the future.

Role Model Resilience – role model how you respond to challenges. When your child sees you adapt because something does not go to plan, or let frustration go, or display a positive attitude in a challenging situation, they learn they can do the same.

These are some of the strategies our educators utilise in our Early Learning programs at St Catherine’s to support the development of resilience in the children. By working together, families and educators can best support resilience building in the children and, ensure they are well-prepared for any challenges they may face in their everyday lives.

Out of School Hours Care – Week 5 Activities

Upcoming activities for Term 3 Week 5 detailed here.

St Catherine’s School offers an Out of School Hours Care program to all ELC and Junior School families. The program is implemented by our provider ‘After the Bell’, and operates within the ELC building. Parents are reminded that if you need to use the Before School Care or After School Care service, registrations need to be made in advance with ‘After the Bell’. Please allow up to five business days for your registration to be processed before your child can begin attending the program. Registration is free. All families are encouraged to register so that you can use this service in the event that you are unable to pick up your child.

Before School Care – 7.00am to 8.45am

After School Care – 3.00pm to 6.00pm

Registrations can be completed via the ‘After the Bell’ website.

Please phone 9758 6744 for all enquiries.

Ms Sarah Bethune, Head of Early Learning