My focus on the themes of hope and resilience arose from my interest in the area of self-esteem in children, as well as from the questions parents asked me. When I began to address the concept of self-esteem, many parents, especially those with children with learning problems, voiced concerns and anxiety about what the future held for their children. Some described portraits of their children that were very disheartening — low self-esteem, poor peer relationships, and failure in school. They posed such questions as, “Is there hope?” “Can my child become more confident and successful?” “Can my child develop more satisfying relationships?”
When I was training as a psychologist, I was taught that our basic personality is formed by the time we are five or six years of age. We now know a great deal of development and change take place after that age. We also know children who are burdened by learning problems and low self-esteem are not destined to lead a life of unhappiness and lack of success. In fact, many experiences satisfying lives. They are resilient.