By: Debi Mahler, Director of Professional Development, Devereux Center for Resilient Children
Promoting the resilience of adults who care for children is a hot topic these days. Increasing levels of stress in the lives of adults inevitably has an impact on the way people interact with the world around them. Each year, the American Psychological Association releases a report titled “Stress in America: Paying with Our Health.” The report is based on a survey on over 3000 Americans and is designed to measure attitudes and perceptions of stress among Americans. Based on the results, the report highlights leading sources of stress, the impact of stress, and behaviors to manage stress in adults living in the United States.
A few highlights of this report include:
- 72% of adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time.
- 1 in 5 Americans say they never engage in an activity to help relieve or manage stress.
- Americans who say they have emotional support — specifically, that they have someone they can ask for emotional support if they need it, such as family and friends — report lower stress levels and better related outcomes than those without emotional support.
- 51% of women say they have lain awake at night in the past month due to stress.
- 75% of Americans report experiencing at least one symptom of stress in the past month.
- Parents report higher average stress levels than non-parents.
Stress is ALL around us.
Those who work as teachers or support teachers know that these adult stressors can have a significant impact on children in their care. In the chapter titled “Caring for the Caregiver: Promoting the Resilience of Teachers” (part of the Handbook of Resilience in Children Second Edition, Sam Goldstein and Robert Brooks, Editors), authors Jennifer Fleming, Mary Mackrain and Paul LeBuffe state “It is our contention that the effectiveness of the teacher in supporting the social and emotional competence and resilience of students is directly influences by the social and emotional well-being and resilience of the teacher him or herself.” The authors go on to discuss how stress impacts adult ability to care for children, highlighting challenges around reduced teacher availability, impairments in the ability of teachers to model social and emotional competence and direct negative effects on children.
In response to this identified need, the Devereux Center for Resilient Children offers a variety of professional development opportunities to support both adult resilience of direct care staff and new this year, for those in leadership positions to consider ways to promote resilience in staff.
Our Building Your Bounce: Strategies for a More Resilient You Training can be offered for any program interested in understanding and supporting the resilience of adults. The content can be delivered in a 1-Day format, half-day for large groups, as well as in workshop and keynote formats for conferences. While this training provides inspirational and motivational activities and experiences that help to heighten awareness around factors that promote resilience in adults, this training also provides participants with a reflection tool (the Devereux Adult Resilience Survey) along with concrete strategies that staff can use immediately to support their own resilience.
NEW! Our Building Your Bounce: Part 2 Training is for programs who have received past training or presentations on Building Your Bounce/ Promoting Adult Resilience. Like the Building Your Bounce training listed above, this training can be offered in a 1-Day format, half-days, and in workshop and keynote formats. Building Your Bounce: Part 2 Training picks up where part one ended. This training will offer new introspective and reflective activities, practical strategies and a closer look at the research related to adult resilience.
NEW! Our Resilient Leadership: Building Staff Bounce Training is designed for those in leadership positions who are looking to support a more resilient staff. Resilient leadership is the term used to describe those leadership behaviors that help others withstand crisis, adapt to, or rebound from, adversity (George Everly, Johns Hopkins University). In this professional development experience, leaders will have the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a resilient leader through the use of our newest reflection tool, the Devereux Resilient Leadership Survey. The training will then focus on the development of meaningful ideas and strategies to support resilience in those they supervise and support. The resilient leadership content can be delivered in a 1-Day format, half-day for large groups, and in workshop and keynote formats.
Those of us in child-serving professions know the importance of supporting the social/emotional health and resilience of children. Without a resilient workforce supporting these children each and every day, we may find that our programs are not producing the positive outcomes we want for children and families. Consider taking the time to look at this very important issue of adult resilience. We promise, you won’t be disappointed! For more information about professional development on adult resilience, please contact Debi Mahler, Director of Professional Development, at (610) 574-6141 or [email protected]