Edith Grotberg I Have, I Am, I Can






Edith Grotberg, a researcher with the International Resilience Project in The Netherlands suggests that children draw their resilience from three sources which she labels “I Have,” “I Am,” and “I Can.” What the children draw from these three sources can be described as follows:


 I Have, I Am, I Can



◦People around me I trust and who love me, no matter what

◦People who set limits for me so I know when to stop before there is danger or trouble

◦People who show me how to do things right by the way they do things

◦People who want me to learn to do things on my own

◦People who help me when I am sick, in danger or need to learn



◦A person people can like and love

◦Glad to do nice things for others and show my concern

◦Respectful of myself and others

◦Willing to be responsible for what I do

◦Sure things will be all right



◦Talk to others about things that frighten me or bother me

◦Find ways to solve problems that I face

◦Control myself when I feel like doing something not right or dangerous

◦Figure out when it is a good time to talk to someone or to take action

◦Find someone to help me when I need it.[1]


 A resilient child does not need all of these features to be resilient, but one feature is not enough. As CWWA workers, we can help children learn to develop these features through the activities we share with them. We can also help their mothers and other caregivers learn the importance of nurturing these features in their children.Children need to become resilient to overcome the many adversities they face and will face in life: they cannot do it alone. They need adults who know how to promote resilience and are, indeed, becoming more resilient themselves.[2][1] Grotberg, E.H. (1995) A Guide to Promoting Resilience in Children: Strengthening the Human Spirit. The Hague: Bernard van Leer Foundation. Retrieved on December 18, 2012 from http://resilnet.uiuc.edu/library/grotb95b.html#chapter1
[2] Grotberg, E.H., (1995)