Centre for Community Child Health

Promoting resilience—early childhood educators

  • Grow resilience ECEC

    Your relationship with each child at your work—from the tiniest baby to the rowdiest preschooler—plays a crucial part in their development of the skills and personal qualities for resilience.

    Relationships really count

    Positive relationships lay the foundation for children to develop the personal qualities and skills they need for resilience. The relationship that you develop with each child helps them to understand who they are, emotions, communication, behaviour, how to treat others and how they can expect to be treated.

    Your positive responses to children’s facial expressions, gestures and sounds in their first year of life are important building blocks for good relationships.

    Once kids are a bit older, they might not yet have quite the right words for their emotions like fear, anxiety or uncertainty. But facing and managing these feelings—and the experiences that are triggering them—is a really important skill to develop.

    Your positive relationship with children and the time that you spend with them every day makes it possible to recognise when difficult feelings are troubling them. You might see their emotions expressed in art or pretend games, clinginess or reversion to old behaviours like thumb-sucking. 

    Also in this edition

    Resilience in childhood

    Promoting resilience:

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    Personal qualities and skills for resilience

    Positive relationships help children to feel that they are safe and secure in the world and build their confidence to dive into new situations, experiences and interactions.

    The courage that children can show when they experience positive relationships can help them to develop the personal qualities and skills that are important for resilience. Look out for and plan interactions and experiences in your setting that will build children’s:

    • sense of self – knowing who they are
    • self-esteem – feeling good about who they are
    • optimism – feeling hopeful that they can make it through challenges
    • problem solving skills – being able to persevere through mistakes and difficulties to find a solution
    • decision-making skills – having the confidence to choose a path to a solution
    • realistic sense of personal control – feeling that they can make a meaningful impact in their world.

    Information for parents

    You might like to share our Grow & Thrive information for parents of 0-5 year old children with parents or caregivers of children at your service—these are packed with information and tips about resilience.

    Where to find help

    There are lots of other resources that you can share with families from KidsMatter and Raising Children Network. When more help is needed, families can also speak with family doctors, counsellors or psychologists.