Dr. Cowan | Resilience + Adaptability - Empowering your child with the tools to overcome challenges

Key Takeaway

Allowing your child to have unique and diverse experiences encourages them to become resilient in the face of new challenges


Let's talk about this word resilience because it's a hot word right now.

So resilience has this quality of rhythm to it.

The rhythm of getting well when you fall down and you get back up...And as we learn and more about epigenetics, about the idea that the genes are being turned on and turned off by the environment. I want people out there to understand that flexibility is one of these keys to resilience, immune resilience, cognitive resilience, emotional resilience.

There's a difference between resilience and adaptability and we want to empower both of them. Resilience is this look bamboo, ability to bounce back from things when you get hit and what does it take to develop that bounce back - to get better when you fall down and a lot of developmental stages and moments are actually working on developing that resilience. A baby learning to walk, drops down, gets back up and drops down. It's building resilience that way. It's not the end of the world that they felt down. As long as we don't think it's the end of the world.

Adaptability takes it a different direction, which is, let me use what I've got to solve the problem. It's almost like backup plans and we want to build in as many backup plans as we can for a kid because a baby, even at a very, very young age is trying to figure out where that wiggle room is. What are my options?

So adaptability is about having a choice where 'I could do it that way, but let me try doing it this way.' So let's say a child's learning to walk or eat or whatever, try mixing it up and try it a different way, it builds in diversity, which builds in adaptability so that if one is down, you've got other options open to you.

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