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Be Steady!

The Science of Resilience

Part II

Metacognitive Reflections on Paul Tough’s book, “Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why”, The Atlantic, June 2016

The first place where we can help with the science of adversity is home. In their early lives, children depend on parents/other adults’ speech and facial expressions to make sense of the world around them. These ‘lively’ impromptu interactions spark the regions of the brain that control emotions, cognition, language, and memory. Parents/other adults serve as external managers of stress. When external actions are uncertain (more so when children are upset), children are less likely to acquire the ability to regulate strong emotions and stressful situations. Distinctively, when parents/adults acknowledge children’s unpredictable moods with steady regulated facial and speech expressions, children are more likely to acquire the ability to manage their feelings.

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