How to foster prosilience
There are six key factors that play a role in fostering prosilience in young children, these are self perception, self control / self regulation, self awareness, self efficacy, social competence, problem solving. These are discussed in more detail below, having an understanding of these six concepts can help you to prepare your child for unsettling situations
When children begin to perceive themselves, they do it through the eyes of the people and the environment around them. While interacting with others, children observe temperament, tone of voice, facial expressions and body movements. These can all affect how the child perceives themselves.
2. Self-control / self-regulation
Self-regulation is the ability to control your reactions in moments of high emotions. Children begin consolidating this skill at a very early age and they need your support and also the teachers’. Children not only need to know how to identify their emotions in order to better control them, but they also need to know when to ask for help from the adults around them.
Experiences help children become aware of their own body and feelings. It is therefore important to create awareness and empower children to express themselves verbally (Frölich-Gildhoff, 2015). Accepting all children’s feelings will help them understand how to express them in an appropriate way. Reading stories to your child where characters face different kind of situations and discussing their feelings will help your child develop self- awareness. By becoming aware of how they feel and how they can handle a situation, children work on their prosilience skills.
Self-efficacy is a child’s ability to believe they can take control over the situations they encounter. This trait is often seen as self-confidence and the ability to problem solve and to approach challenges with openness instead of negativity. Children’s expectations of themselves are important for the way they approach a situation. These expectations depend on the child’s own previous experiences (Frölich-Gildhoff, 2015).
You can support your child’s self-efficacy by giving them opportunities to make choices and feel in control of a situation, so they will be able to build the confidence they need to handle future challenges. Resilient children are proud of themselves and their achievements. They firmly believe their actions can make a difference, they accept difficult tasks as opportunities and are confident in their abilities. Self-efficacy is reflected in optimism and has a motivating effect on the child. Therefore, it is very important for you to be a constant source of support and encouragement while children navigate new challenges.
5. Social competence
Children’s social competence is about learning to build relationships with their peers and adults around them. Having friends and people to rely on when you deal with an unexpected situation makes it a lot easier to get through. Relationships with the people around us become a support network and as the network strengthens so will the support we receive.
When children start going to kindergarten, they will need support to form friendships with their peers and build trust with their teachers. You can help your child by having a positive attitude towards their teachers and by setting up playdates with their peers.
Another way to help your child work on their social competence is by modelling positive relationships with the people around you. This means having a friendly and empathetic attitude towards people you come in contact with.
6. Problem solving
A child uses problem solving skills to successfully deal with challenges as they arise. A child’s character can be affected by their ability to solve a situation. That means they can use these skills to learn how to set realistic goals for themselves, encourage themselves to take risks, explore their environment with confidence and to come up with their own solutions to challenges that come their way (Frölich-Gildhoff, 2015).