Building Resilience in Children

Violence against children remains rife in our communities. From domestic violence, to violence in schools, violence in places of worship and even violence among children themselves often affect children’s emotions and mental growth. Worse even, such acts of violence push children to live in poverty.

When this happens, how can we help build children’s resilience against such violence? H.E Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga; Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras shares some tips regarding building resilience in children. H.E Cardinal Oscar gave these tips during the Global Network of Religions for Children, (GNRC) 5th forum in Panama, May 2017.

Tips for Building Resilience in Children:

1. Give the little ones emotional support. Having people you can trust, support and want is critical to developing the strength needed to deal with adverse situations.

2. Let them deal with problems and mistakes. To rescue them from these “small” adverse situations does not allow them to learn strategies of resolution, coping and to maintain control in the face of stress. Instead, let them learn to see problems as challenges that they can solve, and not as threats.

3. Let them slowly make decisions. In this way they develop the capacity to decide appropriately in adulthood.

4. Help them recognize the emotions they feel, and let them feel them. Show them positive and constructive ways of expressing these emotions. Emotions are natural for people, they should not see them as negative; help them know emotions, help them control them. And serve as an example. In the face of adverse situations, it is important that you transmit to them a positive and reconstructive way of reacting. You will teach them by your example that it is possible to overcome these situations.

5. Help them find, nurture and develop their strengths. All people have strengths, and being able to develop them is the basis of each person’s unique strength. Educate them in optimism and help them see the value of the positive.

6. Look for the good things of each day, the positive of the problems, etc.

7. Help them to believe in themselves and to have a healthy self-esteem.

8. Love them for who they are and not for what they do.

9. Develop their responsibility by giving them homework. It will teach them how much they can contribute and make them see how, although they are not responsible for everything that happens, they are for their actions, what they do in response to events.

10. Create a communication climate where you feel comfortable. Use words and help them use words

By : H.E Cardinal Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga
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