Ongoing research shows that adversity and high levels of stress in early childhood can have a negative impact on a person's life. Stress can affect a child's health, behavior, and ability to learn. However, adults can encourage resilience in young children and in themselves. Resilience is the ability to cope with the stress caused by challenging situations. Find resources below that can help caregivers and families understand the signs and dangers of stress in young children. Learn about strategies to promote resilience and support positive outcomes.
Families can use these tips to reduce the effects of stress and help their children develop resilience.
Resilient people of all ages are better able to cope with stress, adversity, and change. Learn about the concept of resiliency. Find practical ways to promote resilience in children, families, and staff.
Many families face stressful situations, including parental depression, community violence, and poverty. Learn strategies and practice skills to build resilience in adults and young children.
Learn effective ways to support children who have experienced maltreatment. Explore how to build resilience in children with disabilities or suspected delays who have also experienced maltreatment.
There are many adverse experiences that can cause significant stress in young children and their families. Examples include child abuse, neglect, separation from primary caregivers, family mental illness and substance abuse, and domestic violence. But children can thrive when families, early childhood programs, and home visitors understand the effects of trauma and toxic stress as well as the importance of build trusting, positive relationships.
Resilience is the ability to adapt to change and persevere in the face of adversity. Strong, comprehensive early childhood programs are key to promoting resilience in children and families. Use these resources to encourage resilience in children and the adults who care for them.
From the beginning, Head Start has been committed to promoting the mental health of young children and their families. Discover how to help promote children’s mental health and social-emotional development.
Building Resilient Caregivers
Stress is natural, but it can take a toll on your health and impact the quality of care you give. Use these resources to learn ways to help reduce stress.
Discover the impact of stress and how mindfulness practices can help teachers become more resilient. Try a mindfulness practice with children in your program.
Find practical ways staff can help families build the power to cope with depression.
Stress is part of life, but it can take a toll on the health and well-being of caregivers and the children they care for. When caregivers feel stressed, young children are likely to absorb that stress. Explore this resource to learn approaches designed to reduce stress for staff as well as the children and families they serve.
National Centers:Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Last Updated: November 2, 2020