Monday, April 5, 2010

tips for raising resilient children part 1

How can we help children develop the skills they need to bounce back from life's obstacles?  Let the children play!

Play is an important building block for resiliency.  It helps our children to:

  • Build a sense of early autonomy.
  • Develop a sense of control in their world.
  • Stimulate cognitive, emotional and social development.
  • Build social connectedness.
  • Think creatively.
  • Solve problems.
  • Negotiate.
  • Persist through trial and error.
  • Develop an authentic sense of self.
  • Play encourages children to immerse themselves in a task.
  • Build healthy imaginations.
  • Develop flexible thinking.
  • Vigorous play helps diffuse excess energy, emotions and stimulate “feel good” chemicals in the body.
  • Games help build emotional competence like learning to lose, to wait your turn, to concentrate and to finish things off.

Tips for Raising Resilient Children

Children need plenty of opportunities for play says Maggie Dent, parenting and resiliency specialist.

Here are ways to help children build resilience through play, either at home or at preschool:  
  1. Self directed, rather than adult directed play.  
  2. Exploratory play.
  3. Unhurried play.
  4. Imaginative play.
  5. Creative play.
  6. Avoid over stimulation with screens, noisy and large bright toys.
  7. Simple, repetitive games with children:  Nursery rhymes, songs and finger plays help to stimulate whole brain learning and healthy imprinting;
  8. Gross motor play: tumbling, spinning, balancing and rolling help the cerebellum to develop which enhances the sensory system;
  9. Encourage choice.
  10. Encourage independence.
  11. Mastery in real tasks.
  12. Awareness and respect of the natural world.
  13. Experience the joy of discovery;
  14. Story telling and reading picture books. 
  15. Humour in stories, books, songs and games.

Playing in Nature Builds Resilience

As children play in the natural world they play more creatively and there is better social cohesion, better problem solving, negotiation skills , deeper immersion in the play experience, with calmer, happier and less stressed children.

 Yet more valuable reasons to "let the children play"!



    Now if ONLY we could get EVERY BODY to listen!

    GREAT post jenny!

  2. What a great post. I saw many children in my most recent early childhood work, whom I feared lacked resilience, relying very much on their over involved parents who scheduled and controlled way too much of their time.

  3. I especially love the last photo! Stunning! Just became a follower of yours!