Children need to develop resiliency skills starting from birth. Serving as a Cloverbud or 4-H Volunteer puts you in a prime position to continue building resiliency skills among the Cloverbud age youth in your program. Resiliency can be described as the skills developed by overcoming a stressful or adverse situation/ event. Youth face many challenges at home and in their personal lives that strengthen their resiliency and allow them to emerge from those situations stronger.
Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child includes factors children identified as helping them overcome hard times in their lives. The most often cited factor is a consistent, caring, and supportive adult role model. This role model could be a parent, caregiver, or another adult that they interact with often – maybe even that Cloverbud or 4-H Volunteer! Can we build resiliency skills in our Cloverbuds? Absolutely! And you might not even know it, but you are improving those skills at every meeting. Give youth an opportunity to take a risk in a safe space within the club. This could be as simple as trying a new way to make the craft for the week. If the result is less than ideal, you have provided the safe space for them to learn and grow. Managing emotions can be nurtured by creative play and games that Cloverbuds might undertake at a club meeting. It might be that member that wants to win the game or finish their project first every time. Providing a space where youth feel comfortable asking for help if they don’t understand or need assistance with an activity builds resiliency.
Rename yourself the Strength Builder for Buckeye 4-H Club of Clover County because you are more than just a 4-H volunteer to those youth in your care. Make your own name tag, cape and dress the part, members of your club will be looking for the hero at the next 4-H meeting.