Relationships build good mental health
Resiliency helps with life’s bumps and potholes
A child’s foundation for good
mental health is built early in life
through his experiences, including
his relationships with his parents,
family, caregivers, teachers and other
These relationships are essential to
his development and help him build
resiliency—the ability to bounce back
from setbacks and cope with life’s
ups and downs. Resiliency is built
by certain skills such as problem
solving, empathy and emotional
regulation, which is the ability to
show emotions in ways that won’t
hurt onself or others.
A child with resiliency is able to
react confidently, positively and adapt
well to change when he hits bumps
and potholes on the road of life.
Resilience is also a buffer against the
harmful effects of adverse childhoold
experiences (see page 43).
“Our mental health depends on our
relationships with other people from
the very beginning,” says Dr. Carole-Anne Hapchyn, an infant psychiatrist
in Edmonton and a clinical professor
of psychiatry and pediatrics at the
University of Alberta.
“When you are resilient, you’ve
got more in the bank to cope,” she
says. It’s like a scale, with the positive