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“Resilience is important because it is the human capacity to face, overcome and be strengthened by or even transformed by the adversities of life”

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Introduction

"Resilience is important because it is the human capacity to face, overcome and be strengthened by or even transformed by the adversities of life" (Grotberg, 1995 p.10) What do we mean by resilience in the context of children and families? How can those who work with children and families promote and support resilience? Promoting resilience in the context of children and families is important as it is widely accepted that those who demonstrate resilience i.e. have some or all the qualities identified by Kobasa, Grotberg and others are able to cope with adversity and deal with life effectively. What is resilience? What are the qualities that are needed to develop resilience? What evidence is there to support the notion and its importance? The term resilience refers to the abilities that children and families foster enabling them to cope and overcome difficult, distressing, and stressful life circumstances. Resilience is " normal development under difficult conditions" (Fonegy et al., 1994, quoted in Topic 3, p. 30). Children and families that are resilient can demonstrate and manage to grow into happy, healthy and together people, dealing with life in an effective and competent way despite facing major difficulties and setbacks in their life. ...read more.

Middle

This is very similar to Kobasa's quality 'commitment'. This is a quality, which has been defined as people having strong bonds and ties with family, friends and their community and is able to maintain and contribute to the role that they have established. To enable children to develop the quality of 'commitment' we would need to guarantee that the child was encouraged and secured a close, loving connection to family, friends and their community, for example involving a child "buying grandpa's birthday present." (Block 1, Topic 3, p. 27) or helping out a school fundraising event would give the child a feeling that they have contributed and maintained a specific role. Grotberg's second quality 'I am' refers to children being individuals who: * Are liked and loved. * Like and enjoy doing nice things for others and showing concern for them. * Have self-respect and respect others. * Are able to take responsibility for their actions and who show confidence that everything will be all right in the end. The example I am going to use is from Raul's situation, Grotberg suggests that the following resilience factors drawn from the quality 'I am' could be promoted by encouraging Raul to remember that he is "lovable, becoming autonomous and independent, doing things he should be proud of and seeing his mum being loving, empathic and altruistic." ...read more.

Conclusion

Grotberg suggests that not all of her identified qualities are necessary for a child to become resilient, however she also suggests that only one is not enough and that if a child bears one quality only, that child will find it hared to survive In comparison Grotberg and Kobasa show that their qualities "I have" and "Commitment" are indeed very similar in definition. However their other qualities, "I am", "I can", "Control" and "Challenge" only show similar elements of what is necessary to become resilient. When working with children and families I would be inclined to use Grotberg's framework as in my understanding, this framework demonstrates concrete ways of promoting resilience. You can teach the child or family ways of doing and thinking about things that will promote the qualities, Grotberg sees as important, and in turn this could lead to them then gaining the attitudes that Kobasa suggests we need in overcoming and dealing with life's problems. " ...... childhood is an opportunity. Each young child has unique potential for development of human capacities......"(Woodhead cited in Topic 3, p 41) Resilience forms a major element of children's and family's quality of life and it is for this reason it is well worth promoting. ...read more.

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