Mattie Jones

Dr. Mattie Jones

In PreK-Corner, I share and offer discussions with you about issues that cover the journey that children take from birth through school age and how this journey will affect them throughout their lives.

We are continuing the previous discussion about teaching children to be resilient by looking at why resilience is an emotional shield for children. A shield is protection or a buffer against something that can cause harm or death. Childhood is seen as a carefree time and being a child is perceived as a time when there are no cares or worries. It has been said, “Children don’t have a care in this world because they don’t have to worry about bills or where their next meal is coming from,” but being young offers no shield against the emotional hurts and traumas many children face. Young children deal with challenges ranging from acclimating to a new school to bullying. Add to these the uncertainties and pressures of growing up, childhood can be anything but carefree. 

Additionally, there are other less than carefree childhood experiences that can cause lifelong social and emotional damage. These damaging encounters are called adverse childhood experiences. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) were researched in the 1990s and are defined as traumatic or stressful experiences that affect human development. To learn more about this study, go to Studies reveal that building resilience in children is a proven shield against the effects of experiencing trauma and abuse. 

I shared in the previous column that children are not born resilient. Childhood resilience is vital because not only does a child face what is perceived as natural childhood challenges; there is a high probability that they will also have adverse experiences. Children may survive hostile, abusive and harmful encounters physically but can be left with mental scars of pain and anger that last into adulthood. However, the ability to thrive despite stressful battles evolves from the skills of resilience. 

Dr. Mattie Jones, associate provost, professor and dean of education at Martin University and founder of PreK-Keys Consulting, can be contacted at or

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