Bouncing and stretching

Ways you can help build resilient children and youth.

Resilience seems to be a word that is used a lot these days but what does it actually mean? Resilience can be defined as the, ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. So what does that really mean to our children and youth?  Michigan State University Extension experts say building resiliency skills allows children and youth to stretch and adjust to change, and bounce back from life’s setbacks. Resiliency skills are very important to help our children and youth become successful at navigating all the changes and bumps in the road they will experience as they begin to grow up.

In his book, Building Resilience in Children and Teens, Dr. Kenneth R. Ginsburg gives seven ingredients, the 7 Crucial C’s, to build resilience. These seven ideas are the building blocks to help build resiliency skills in our children and youth based on the 5C’s of Positive Youth Development. The 7 C’s of resilience include:

  • Competence: knowing how to handle situations effectively
  • Confidence: the belief in one’s own abilities
  • Connection: having ties with family, friends, school and the community
  • Character: having a sense of right and wrong
  • Contribution: understanding that they can make a difference in the world
  • Coping: having skills to effectively deal with stress
  • Control: understanding they control their decisions and actions

These 7 C’s of resilience combine to create the building blocks of resilience for children and youth which work better when they are considered together and not just individually. Over a series of articles we will explore each of the 7 C’s of Resilience and learn how to build these skills in children and youth. For more information and resources about developing resiliency in children and youth visit Fostering Resilience, the Search Institute and the Devereux Center for Resilient Children. For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the MSU Extension website.

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