Villanova, Pa. — Divorce. Parental mental illness. Media violence. Natural disasters. Home foreclosures. Poverty. These are just some of the risk factors that may jeopardize the social and emotional well-being of infants, young children and adolescents and their ability to learn, trust, and grow in positive ways.
In an effort to help families and teachers nurture resilience in all children, Devereux, a nonprofit provider of behavioral health services, has launched a twitter handle called @BuildURBounce.
The twitter handle will highlight resilience-promoting strategies and techniques that have been used in early care and education settings and in school-age classrooms across the country.
The tweets will assist families and teachers in helping children "build their bounce" to cope successfully with risk and adversity and recover from life's setbacks. It will spotlight resources and provide a forum in which to share research and ideas to promote a resilient new generation.
The launch of the twitter handle coincides with Devereux's publication of its new resource, Socially Strong, Emotionally Secure, developed by experienced early childhood educators, Nefertiti Bruce and Karen Cairone of the Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC).
Upcoming tweets from Socially Strong, Emotionally Secure will provide teachers and families with fun and engaging activities they can use to help children become socially and emotionally healthy for life.
"With all of the stresses on infants, young children and adolescents today, we want parents and teachers to know that there are tools available to help children develop their emotional skills and resourcefulness," said Robert Q. Kreider, president and CEO of Devereux. "These skills can be taught and they're among the most important gifts we can give to our children. It's never too soon to start."
According to Linda Likins, co-director for the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, the mission is to promote social and emotional development, foster resilience, and build skills for school and life success in all children and the adults who care for them.
"Now, more than ever, research supports the need to promote children's resilience. We know that school and life success depends upon strengthening a child's social and emotional skills and ability to cope with adversity," Likins said. "The goal of our tweets is straightforward: to provide parents and teachers with simple activities that promote children's social and emotional development and resilience."
Activities would include those used to "build healthy relationships, self-control, initiative, optimistic thinking, personal responsibility, and other critical social and emotional competencies," she explained.
The Devereux Center for Resilient Children is a division of Devereux's Institute of Clinical Training and Research (ICTR). For nearly a century, Devereux has provided a continuum of behavioral health services to children and adults with intellectual, developmental, and emotional challenges in residential, community and day programs.
Children with emotional and behavioral difficulties comprise approximately half of the 20,000 individuals served each year.
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