Temperament and inner strength
None of us are the same in temperament.
One person is outgoing and loving, while another is more detached. Some people are more confident than others and seem to be natural leaders. Much research has been done trying to work out to what extent we are born with these qualities, and to what extent they are developed by family life and circumstances.
One thing is certain. If the child is provided with the right environment for growing up, then he has the best chance of developing the abilities with which he was born.
Research has identified five important personal qualities in the resilient child.
The resilient child
Believes they are lovable and appealing
The child is aware that people like and love him. He does things that endear him to others and that help make him or her lovable. The child is sensitive to the moods of others and knows what to expect from them. The child strikes an appropriate balance between exuberance and quietness when responding to others.
Is loving, empathetic, and altruistic
The child shows love and affection to family members and close friends. He cares about others and expresses that caring through actions and words. The child feels the discomfort and suffering of others and may want to do something to stop or share the suffering or to give comfort.
Has confidence and pride
The child has self-belief. Because he has been loved and praised he knows he is an important person, feels proud of who he or she is and what he or she can do and achieve. He has the confidence to stand up for himself when he encounters problems.
Is autonomous and responsible
The child can do things on his own and accepts the consequences of his behaviour. He feels that what he does makes a difference and accepts that responsibility. The child understands the limits of his or her control over events and recognises when others are responsible.
Is filled with hope, faith, and trust
The resilient child believes that there is hope for him or her and that there are people and institutions that can be trusted. He feels a sense of right and wrong, believes right will win, and wants to contribute to this. The child has confidence and faith in morality and goodness, and may express this as a belief in God or higher
spiritual being. Not every child has these inner qualities. The home life that they are provided from birth gives the child the opportunity to develop them.
- Resilience in action
- Providing the right framework
- The place of social skills
- Fostering resilience in children - A bulletin from the Ohio state University.
- A Guide to Promoting Resilience in Children: Strengthening the Human Spirit - a comprehensive study from the influential Bernard van Leer Foundation.
- Developing resilience in our children! - a brief summary statement specifically for parents by a New Zealand counsellor.