It is amazing to see how many children manage to survive, recover, and even thrive after tumultuous events unfold around them. This might involve getting through natural disasters such as floods or coping with the impacts of poverty or war, be it losing one’s home or enduring precarious shortages of food. Over and over, in diverse situations around the world, we see some children manage to do well while others are hit much harder.
These young people may have very different experiences, but children who show resilience almost invariably share at least one fundamental protective factor. Typically, in the background, there are people connected to these children – usually parents and teachers – who are holding it together amid chaos and trauma to buffer children in their care from the dangers that surround them.
For example, over the years, I have seen a lot of effective parenting in emergency shelters. Despite scary situations and uncertainty, many caregivers manage to hold steady, even when they do not know where their