Monthly Article Archives: December 2018

One PersonRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I have long emphasized the lifelong impact that one person can have on a child’s sense of hope and resilience.  The late Julius Segal, whom I frequently cite, called that person a “charismatic adult,” an “adult from whom a child gathers strength.”  Segal asserted that often that person turns out to be a teacher.  Hopefully, children will encounter many such adults in their childhood and adolescence, but certainly, teachers are in a prime position to serve as a source of strength in the lives of their students. The power of one person to develop resilience was captured in the following statement in a report titled “Resilience” issued by the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University: The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult.  These relationships provide the personalized responsiveness, scaffolding, and protection that buffer children from developmental disruption.  They also build key capacities—such as the ability to plan, monitor, and regulate behavior—that enable children to respond adaptively to adversity and thrive.  This combination of supportive relationships, adaptive skill-building, and positive experiences is the foundation of resilience. I have received many

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