Thursday, November 4, 2010

Resilience (part 2)

"Developmental neuroscience is telling us that we have a special window to enhance the development of self-regulation between the ages of three and five when the part of the brain that supports executive functions is undergoing a critical growth spurt" (Posner and Rothbart, 2006).

Yesterday I wrote about resilience. After posting, I found another reference to the importance of developing this skill in children.

According to Every Child, Every Opportunity: Curriculum and Pedagogy for the Early Learning Program (A compendium report to "With Our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario),

"Over the past decade, scientists have begun to acquire a much better understanding of why it has been so difficult to change educational trajectories, and it turns out that the explanation to this phenomenon has little to do with IQ; rather, the reason lies primarily in the child's ability to self-regulate: to monitor and modify emotions, focus or shift attention, control impulses, tolerate frustration, delay gratification, do-regulate in social interactions" (p. ii - Blair and Diamond, 2008).

Charles E. Pascal, the Special Advisor to the Premier on Early Learning, stresses the principle that early development launches children's trajectories for learning. On pages 4 and 5 of the Every Child, Every Opportunity, he explains the concept of self-regulation and its relevance in the early years.

As a parent or educator, one way to promote resilience in your children is by reading picture books with them. Highlight storybook characters' resiliency abilities by commenting as you read.

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