Forming Resilient Children

Forming Resilient Children

The Role of Spiritual Formation for Healthy Development

Holly Catterton Allen


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Many children today are growing up in the midst of adversity, whether brought on by family difficulties or larger societal crises. All children need to be able to deal with stress, cope with challenges, and persevere through disappointments. While we cannot protect children from all hardships, we can promote healthy development that fosters resilience. In this interdisciplinary work, Holly Catterton Allen builds a bridge between resilience studies and children's spiritual formation. Because children are spiritual beings, those who work with them can cultivate spiritual practices that are essential to their thriving in challenging times. This book equips educators, counselors, children's ministers, and parents with ways of developing children's spirituality to foster the resilience needed to face the ordinary hardships of childhood and to persevere when facing trauma. It offers particular insight into the spiritual experiences of children who have been hurt by life through chronic illness, disability, abuse, or disasters, with resources for healing and hope.


Holly Catterton Allen:
Holly Catterton Allen (PhD, Talbot School of Theology) is professor of family studies and Christian ministries at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. She has previously taught at John Brown University, Biola University, and Abilene Christian University. Allen's areas of scholarly interest are children's spirituality and intergenerational issues, and she leads two national, ecumenical conferences: InterGenerate and the Children's Spirituality Summit. She is the editor of Nurturing Children's Spirituality and InterGenerate and the coauthor of Intergenerational Christian Formation.