The pathway to resilience

April 22, 2015

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Studies have identified seven aspects of children’s lives associated with resilience. All seven work in tension with one another. Improving one can have a ­dramatic effect on the other six. Youth who have been found to be resilient and do well in life despite a poor start are those who successfully navigate their way to the resources they need to experience all seven of these ­aspects of ­resilience. These include

1. Access to material resources

Availability of financial, educational, medical and employment assistance and/or opportunities, as well as access to safety, food, clothing and shelter.

2. Relationships

Relationships with significant others, peers and adults within one’s family and community.

3. Identity

A sense that one is liked for who one is; a personal and collective sense of purpose, self-appraisal of strengths and weaknesses, aspirations, beliefs and values, including spiritual and religious identification.

4. Power and control

Experiences of caring for one’s self and others; the ­ability to affect change in one’s social and physical ­environment in order to access health resources.

5. Cultural adherence

Adherence to one’s local and/or global cultural ­practices, values and beliefs.

6. Social justice

Experiences related to being treated fairly in one’s ­community; finding a meaningful role for one’s self at home and at school; social equality.

7. Cohesion

Balancing one’s personal interests with a sense of responsibility to the greater good; feeling a part of something larger than one’s self socially and spiritually.

Children are more likely to realize their strengths when the resources that help them experience all seven of these aspects of resilience are made available and ­accessible. The good news is that changing one aspect of resilience changes the others as well.

Source: www.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/learningcentre (click on ­Mentor Resource-Resilience)

Reprinted with permission.