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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!

Resources To Guide You On Your Quest

The Ordinary Magic of Resilience: An Overview

While resilience has  been called “ordinary magic,” it is really…wait for it:  SCIENCE!  The resources on this page are an introduction to what we know about resilience, and why it is such powerful magic when trying to tame the dragon of SUD and  other forms of trauma.

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What Are the Protective Factors for Resilience?

The neuroscience wizards across the land have learned a lot about the kinds of experiences that give children that super-human strength to fight off adversity. They call these “protective factors.” Knowing about them will help every early childhood educator wield that magic wand that can transform both everyday challenges and long-term outcomes.

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Protective Play: Resilience in Early Childhood Settings

Knowing about resilience and the science behind it is one thing…but being able to weave its spell throughout our busy days with young children is quite another! This page offers all kinds of resources that will help you harness the power of “protective play,” storytelling and other ways that children use make believe…to help them believe in  the happily ever afters they deserve!

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