COVID -19 Series: Elementary Resilience in Uncertain Times
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April 27, 2020
COVID - 19
Early Learning and Elementary Snapshot Resilience in Uncertain Times

What is Resilience?
Resilience can be defined as adapting well in the face of adversity, challenge or significant stress. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from difficult experiences, it can also involve deep personal growth. After a struggle people often report improved relationships and a greater sense of strength.

Becoming more resilient then, not only helps you get through difficult circumstances, it also empowers you to grow and improve your life along the way.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our daily routines it’s comforting to witness the many moments of strength and hope that showcase the resilience, or grit, that people demonstrate in times like these.


Family Resilience

Family resilience is not just about weathering a storm but also turning the storm into an opportunity for the family’s growth. It’s about enhancing relationships and making family members more skilled at coping with future stresses.

Resilience is built within a family with the magic of the small, everyday things. A conversation here, an activity there. Word by word, bond after bond, families fill their buckets with strength, wisdom and hope. And the knowledge of this common bucket of reserves becomes a big part of their resilience.

Building Resilience in Children   Families


Reassure children about their safety and the safety of loved ones.This strong sense of safety with important adults is a key factor in mitigating stressful times in the lives of children.

In the case of COVID 19 you can reassure them that you are doing everything you know of to make sure everyone in the family stays as healthy as possible; and if someone does get sick, you will do everything you can to help them get better again. 





Maintain predictable routines with children (sleeping, eating, playing, learning).  Predictability creates a sense of safety because familiar patterns are calming to a child. Routines do not require a child to worry or wonder about what is going to happen next. 

If it is difficult to stick to a routine right now predictability can also include serving familiar foods, playing familiar music, doing certain chores together, or reading familiar books at bedtime.


Support children’s emotional regulation skills by helping them manage difficult feelings they may be experiencing. Use strategies such as deep breathing, physical movement or quiet time.

Make time for emotional “check-ins” and offer opportunities for children to ask questions, talk about their feelings, and get age-appropriate information and support.
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Resilient families know they can count on each other during times of crisis. At the same time members need to respect each others’ boundaries. Family resiliency is strengthened when they are able to balance time together and time apart in order to meet the needs of each individual. If indoor space is limited, outdoors is a great option to find some personal space. 


Prioritize relationships. Connecting with empathetic and understanding people reminds you that you‘re not alone in the midst of difficulties. Focus on connecting with people who care about you and validate your feelings, which supports the skill of resilience.

Reach Out

Resilient families find meaning, purpose and connection to something beyond themselves and their immediate problems. Many families find strength and guidance through their  cultural and religious traditions. Others may find spiritual nourishment through a deep connection with nature, music or art.

Being resilient doesn't mean going it alone. Recognize when you and/or your family need help and ask for it. Whether it is practical assistance, emotional support or a connection to the larger community it is important to remember you’re not alone on the journey. 




Maintain a Sense of HOPE

Try to hold an optimistic view of life by confirming family strengths and reinforcing a sense of a “can do” spirit in the midst of crisis. Focus energies on making the best of available options and accepting things that are beyond the family‘s control.

Highlight stories of hope and resilience such as people helping each other or helping animals. This also provides an important counterbalance to negativity and fear about the pandemic.
Glean hope from your past. Look back at who or what was helpful in previous times of distress. Remind yourself of where you were able to find strength and what you learned from those experiences.
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Resilience Journal
for Children

Your children can start their own resilience journal. This is different to a normal journal in that they are writing or drawing about times they experienced something tricky but came through OK. Maybe they had a falling out with a close friend or they felt worried about an impending move to another city or felt sad that this was their first Christmas without grandma. 

Not only can journaling tricky times such as these help your children process them, but it can also give them a valuable reference  they can look back through to remember how resilient they actually are. What a reassuring and confidence building thing to do!

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Click here to download these resilience
quotes for your children to colour.

The hope is that we emerge from the pandemic further understanding that the hardest times generally come to an end or become manageable, that we are resilient and have the ability to “bounce back” and adapt, that we can do hard things — perhaps harder things than we realize, and that we often want more than we need and need less than we think. That we can learn to manage big feelings, to exhibit patience and forgiveness to people around us, and to see and be the good in the world. 
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Click below for a comprehensive list of Community Services and their availability during the pandemic.

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph the Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada sends a message to all, in light of COVID-19.

“If ever there was a time and a need to honour our common humanity, ‘Namawyut [we are all one], this is it. This is the moment.” 

 Safer Schools Together is offering a Free 
Remote Session for Parents: Raising Responsible Digital Learners
April 29 - 9:00-10:30 am 

This FREE parent presentation will focus on increasing your understanding and awareness of safety in the remote learning world. Being social is such an important part of your child’s growth and that has become much more difficult with ‘shelter in place’ orders in affect. At this age, they will encounter situations that will challenge their independence, including cyberbullying (and more commonly – cyberexclusion), the dangers of anonymity, privacy, sharing intimate images, and inappropriate websites, and you need to be there to provide support and guidance during this critical period. Finally, to better equip you for your digital parenting strategy, a snapshot of the current video conferencing platforms, trends and concerning apps will be provided.

Learning Resources
BC Numeracy Network 
TedED - Parents can sign up for grade specific daily lessons on any subject imaginable. Fun and engaging!
Free Indigenous movies online CBC
The Ministry of Education site contains excellent information on learning at home and resources for families
The Greater Victoria School District provides learning opportunities for elementary, middle and secondary age students.
BCTF - Aboriginal Education Teaching Resources

 Learning Resources for Students with Complex Needs

Food for Families

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