We live in a stress-filled world! While brief periods of stress can be helpful in maximizing our focus, effort, and performance, research is showing that chronic levels of stress can actually negatively impact the neural pathways in our brains. This is particularly true for children as their brains continue to grow and change, well into young adulthood. The good news is that research is also proving that specific strategies can calm the brain and body’s stress response which leads to positive impacts on the neural pathways in our brains. These strategies can help children become more resilient as they face adversity in their lives.
The Leader in Me program recently offered the following definition of resilience: “Resilience is really the counterbalancing of difficult things that may exist in the child’s life with positive things that occur within the family/community. When positive experiences accumulate and children learn coping skills that help them to manage stress, the fulcrum can slide so the scale tilts towards positive outcomes more easily. That’s what resilience is all about.”
Fifth Street Elementary is implementing a school-wide resilience education focus that will teach our students about their brains, what happens in their brains when they experience stress, and strategies they can use to cope with the stress in a healthy way. The resources and strategies will be updated on the website as they are taught to the students and we hope they can be helpful for families at home.