Below are suggestions taken from Promoting Resilience For Now and Forever. Tips and strategies are listed to help promote and strengthen each of the three DCRC protective factors for preschoolers; Initiative, Self-Regulation, and Attachment/Relationships.
You can also download this handout for a list of tips to support resilience in young children.
Support Initiative In Preschoolers
- Get involved in your child’s play. Ask questions to help her express her ideas. Showing your care about what she is interested in helps build her confidence.
- Let your child teach you how to do something. Preschoolers love to be in charge. Let him explain what to do and show how to do it. This helps him practice his initiative.
- Involve your child in doing simple tasks. Preschoolers can help set the table, make a bed, feed a pet, and more. Make sure the task is on that is safe and that your child can handle. They will love feeling independent, and like they are really helping!
Support Self-Regulation In Preschoolers
- Help your child learn to calm down when frustrated. For example, count to 10 or take a few deep breaths. Help your child learn to say, “This is hard for me. I am getting frustrated. Can you help?”
- Talk about it, later. When your child throws a tantrum or has very strong feelings about something, wait until he is calm to talk about it. Children cannot reason when they are driven by emotion. Talking about it at a calmer time will help you and your child talk calmly about what could happen differently the next time.
- Have simple rules and be consistent. Rules help children learn to make good choices. Be as consistent as possible. If a rule needs to change, explain why, and for how long. If you are not consistent, children will think that rule is not real, and are less likely to follow it.
Support Attachment/Relationships In Preschoolers
- Hug and cuddle together. Safe, loving touch can help you bond with your child. Try to give your child warm hugs, kisses, and touches throughout the day. If your child does not enjoy hugs, find other ways to connect like high fives, thumbs up, a gently pat on the back, or simply, a smile.
- Use your child’s name often. Children love to hear their own names. Sometimes we get busy and we can find ourselves quickly giving our directions without making them personal. Using your child’s name regularly helps them know you are paying attention to him, and what he is doing.
- Help your child learn to make and keep friends. Children don’t always know how to play with others in kind and appropriate ways. Provide suggestions of things to try and words to use, like, “May I have a turn?” or “Would you like to pull this wagon with me?”
For a list of children’s books that support resilience, click here!