Discover top tips from the team at MindChamps Nursery
20 January 2019| Last updated on 21 January 2019
“To be a champion, we must view setbacks as set ups. Failure is, after all, part of the process of success.”
Building resilience in early childhood is a topic often not spoken about, with parents and educators often focusing on areas such as speech development, early literacy and numeracy and social development.
But of course, without the ability to regulate their own emotions, resolve conflicts and manage tasks independently, our children will find the transition to primary school and the expectations placed on them thereafter very difficult.
A useful way to view this area of development is the metaphor of the bamboo plant.
For a considerable time at the beginning of its growth, the bamboo plant is not visible above the ground as it grows strong roots beneath the surface. Other plants appear to grow faster, while from the surface it appears that the bamboo is not growing at all. However, once it does grow above the soil, it becomes one of the strongest plants in the world, with the ability to withstand natural disasters due to its structural soundness and flexibility.
The development of a young child’s resilience is very much like the bamboo. We need to first build their foundations to mature into strong individuals.
We value the theories made related to early years and child development, such as British Psychologist, Edward John Bowlby, known for his theory of secure attachments.
For a child to develop resilience, they must feel secured, loved, wanted and cared for at the early years of his life and feel attachments to key care givers. These secure attachments allow the child to develop a sense of safety, belongingness, security and confidence, allowing them to explore and express their curiosity, and to view those “setbacks as setups”.
What does resilience look like?
Some of the early signs of resilience in a young child are:
- Happily accomplishing tasks independently and asking for help if needed.
- Curiosity about the environment and surroundings; confidently exploring and experimenting.
- Handling changes or transitions and adapting positively.
At MindChamps, we have actively developed a curriculum that supports the development of resilience in early childhood. Our curriculum has been designed and developed by a team of world class experts using research from the field of Psychology, Neuroscience and Theatre.
Tips for supporting resilience in children
Here are some tips that can be followed to support resilience in preschoolers:
1. Develop Routine:
This supports your child in predicting what will happen next. Once a child is comfortable in a routine, they are better equipped to deal with changes within it.
2. Be Consistent:
A child who understands their boundaries and knows what to expect has the space to develop confidence
3. Explaining the Reason:
What, why, how, when and where could be discussed to help them understand the situation better with some coping skills.
4. Accommodate Mistakes (but don’t ignore them):
We all make mistakes and we need to learn how to brush ourselves down and move on from them.
Don’t chastise a child for a genuine mistake but likewise do not ignore the mistake; talk about how we can do better next time.
5. Effective Communication:
Always talk and discuss to keep them well informed of the steps involved in it and to know how they feel about it.
6. Be Empathetic:
Showing empathy will make them feel that they are understood and that their feelings are valid. This supports your child in developing self-esteem.
Written by Nitisha Wyse
Nitisha Wyse is an experienced Early Years Educator and SenCo with MindChamps Nursery.