Children, especially those who have survived abuse or neglect, possess an extraordinary strength. Resilience builds on that innate strength, moving towards healing and growth. We have the privilege and responsibility of nurturing this resilience. Each small step we take in cultivating a child’s resilience writes a new, hopeful chapter in their story. Trauma, the precursor to resilience, negatively impacts the brain. So it makes sense that in order to build resilience, it is sometimes necessary to rewire the brain. Dr. Glenn Schiraldi suggests that we do that by creating new patterns. He outlines the steps below in his article, Bouncing Forward After Adverse Childhood Experiences.
    1. Think of all the unpleasant images, emotions, sensations, and thoughts that arise as you anticipate a new situation.
    1. With great compassion, understanding, and acceptance, name the unpleasant images, emotions, sensations, and thoughts.
    1. Briefly describe how you would like to feel.
    1. Design the desired response.
    1. Mentally rehearse.
    1. Practice this new approach in real life.
Read the full article here. These steps can be modified for a child, using language and images that are familiar to them. We encourage you to use this outline to help the children in your life create and apply new patterns to their thoughts and behaviors. It’s all a part of growing resilience!