Resilience is a concept which has been studied extensively recently both internationally
and in New Zealand. It offers a way to view an adverse situation with hope and positivity. Resilience is the concept that some people can be very successful in life despite apparent setbacks or disadvantages. I’d like to share what we know about how to develop resilience in response to an adverse event.
Resilience is focused on protective factors or actions you can take:
themselves can contribute to developing a resilient school community which is able to thrive because of and despite challenging circumstances. Adults and young people can model these skills to those who are still developing them. A key lesson from the Christchurch earthquakes is that adults modelling calm responses to challenging situations were key to avoiding ongoing negative effects on mental health for young people.
Typically, the negative effects of adverse events occur when there are several events rather than just one. If your child is experiencing multiple adverse events and is displaying behaviour of concern it may be time to consult with professionals. Helpful people to speak to are your child’s class teacher, your family doctor, the school counsellor or a psychologist.
Robyn Stead, Child Psychologist and Educator, lives and works in central Auckland.