Resilience is what researcher Dr. Ann Masten calls “ordinary magic.” This ability to bounce back from adversity has long been recognized as a trait that improves the chances of positive outcomes for a person, no matter what kinds of challenges they encounter.
Recent research has offered a road map to the neuroscience of resilience. Surprisingly, the development of this way of dealing with life’s stressors is NOT brain surgery or rocket science (even though the people studying it might be skilled in those areas!). Instead, we’ve learned that it is the most ordinary of interactions that help each child develop this potent life skill.
Resilience is also one of the strongest protective factors against developing and succumbing to substance use disorder. Sadly, because of the way SUD and other forms of trauma often affect parenting, the kinds of interactions that nurture it are sometimes lacking.
But never fear! The resources below will help you to have a better understanding of what resilience is, why it’s important, AND: how to use play, storytelling, and many of your favorite early childhood activities and strategies to promote it in ALL young children!