Strengthening Family Resilience

Topics: Family, Psychological resilience, Resilience Pages: 18 (2794 words) Published: February 4, 2014
Strengthening Family Resilience


There are an increasing number of external factors that affect youth and their

family units.

Poverty; a child hopes there is not another letter waiting at home, that

demands they move again.

Hunger; a child’s headache and weak body are distracting

him from answering questions on his math test.

Divorce; a child believes she is the

cause of her parents yelling and the reason dad moved away.

She is sad that she

barely gets to see her mom anymore, now that her mom has a job.

Abuse; a child

can’t understand why his teachers are disciplining him for pushing others.

His dad

pushes him and he even sees his dad hit his mom, but no one ever stops his dad. Socioeconomic Status (SES); a child’s family cannot afford his hockey registration anymore, so he makes new friends hanging out in the streets.

Coupled with these

external factors for children are the internal stressors and worries that adults, like myself for example, face everyday.

There is the pressure to succeed academically as an adult

learner, the necessity to make mortgage and utility payments, provide for the family, and the desire to have acceptance among colleagues and loved ones. !

In each of the scenarios described above, a child is a member of someone's

family, a product of a learnt environment.
neither are the children.

Families are not created equally, therefore,

As a future educator, it would be nice to think they are, to

think that all children will all begin and develop at the same level when they enter and continue through the education system.

However, we know for certain they will not, the

inequalities between children creates adversity and the resulting effects of this adversity will impact their development as students and as people and some will be defined as “at-risk”.

Strengthening Family Resilience


Students from a low SES background are considered to be at an elevated level of

becoming labelled “at-risk”.

Families with a low socioeconomic status often lack

financial, social, and educational supports which place their children at a greater risk of entering kindergarten unprepared.

Because they have inadequate or limited access to

community resources that promote and support children's social, emotional, nutritional and cognitive development, it can hinder their child’s school readiness.

There is a high

probability of failing to acquire the minimal academic skills necessary for success in the education system and later in the adult world.

Students may have greater academic

obstacles and behavioral outbursts, thus they drop out before their high school graduation.

For those at-risk youth who struggle through the system, some will receive

credit without basic skills, such as reading, writing, and mathematics. !

However, things can change.

problem free.

It is not all doom and gloom.

No family is

At one time or another, all families will face some sort of adversity,

setback, or challenge.

What processes allow family members to support one another

during theses obstacles? How do they re-structure their lives after a job loss? What do they do to rise above the challenges of poverty and/or end the cycle of abuse (Walsh, 2006)? The answer to all these questions, it is resilience.


Family resiliency can be defined as the ability of a family to respond positively

to an adverse situation and emerge from the situation feeling strengthened, more resourceful, and more confident than its prior state (Simon, Murphy, & Smith, 2005); Walsh (2006), defines resilience as the ability to rebound from crisis and overcome life's


Strengthening Family Resilience

challenges. In terms of a student, resilience can be defined as someone who succeeds, in life or school, despite exceptional hardships in their lives (Garton, 2011). !

This paper will focus on the factors that define families...

Cited: Bernard, B. (2000, August). Fostering Resilience in Children. In Eric Digest. Retrieved
February 13, 2011, from
Building Community Resilience for Children and Families (2007, February 12). Retrieved
February 13, 2011, from
Adolescents. In Australian Institute of Criminology. Retrieved January 13, 2011, from
National Network for Family Resiliency Children, Youth and Families Network (1995). In
Family Resiliency: Building Strengths to Meet Life 's Challenges
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