Adults who support the growth and development of young children have a big job. Each day, they work diligently to provide children with what they need to learn and grow into happy and successful adults.
What happens when these adults feel stressed, worried, and challenged by events happening in their own lives? It can be more challenging for them to provide the things we know to be good for children.
To help support adult resilience as it relates to caring for children, the Devereux Center for Resilient Children created the Devereux Adult Resilience Survey (DARS) and an adult resilience journal called Building Your Bounce: Simple Strategies for a Resilient You. Together, the DARS checklist and journal can be used by adults to take a closer look at their use of resilience-related behaviors and then identify strategies and ideas around how to strengthen their own resilience.
The Devereux Adult Resilience Survey (DARS) is a 23-item reflective checklist that provides adults with information about their personal strengths. Each item on the DARS relates to thoughts and behaviors that have been shown to support resilience. These items are categorized as:
- Relationships: The mutual, long-lasting, back-and-forth bond we have with another person in our lives.
- Internal Beliefs: The feelings and thoughts we have about ourselves and our lives, and how effective we think we are at taking action.
- Initiative: The ability to make positive choices and decisions and act upon them.
- Self-Control: The ability to experience a range of feelings and express them using appropriate words and actions.
Information from the DARS can be used to help adults build on their identified strengths so that they are better able to cope with stress and the challenges of caring for young children.
The DARS is incorporated into Building Your Bounce: Simple Strategies for a Resilient You, an Adult Resilience Journal. While the ideas in this resource are simple and straightforward they can make a very positive impact on caregivers’ lives. The overwhelmingly positive reception for Building Your Bounce has provided the DCRC team with a stronger appreciation for the need to focus on adult resilience, resulting in the creation of several professional development events on this important topic. An effort to reach professionals with this important information through keynote addresses, training and technical assistance sessions and web-based information sharing is a strategic focus for DCRC.