Building resilience and wellbeing in the early years: Coping strategies for parents and children from CALD backgrounds

Building resilience and wellbeing in the early years: Coping strategies for parents and children from CALD backgrounds

Erica Frydenberg and Janice Deans

This webinar discussed an approach to building coping strategies for parents and young children, with a focus on families from CALD backgrounds.

Shot of a muslim mother and her little baby girl

This webinar was held on 27 February 2019.

A full recording of this webinar is available on our YouTube Channel.

The audio, transcript and presentation slides are available under Event Resources on this page. 

A list of resources related to this topic is available on our post-webinar forum.

Parenting in the early years can be a challenging time for parents as they navigate a range of issues relating to their child’s development. Parenting programs aim to address these challenges by building parenting skills and capacity in order to help support parents in their role.

This time can be particularly challenging for parents from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds as tensions between mainstream Australian norms and cultural practices arise and recently arrived migrants commonly experience social isolation as a result of moving to a new country. There are barriers that prevent CALD parents from accessing the culturally appropriate support they need.

This webinar discussed an approach to productive parenting in early childhood that incorporates principles of positive psychology and productive coping skills for families with young children. This approach was illustrated using a case example of an innovative early years productive parenting program adapted for parents from CALD backgrounds attending a playgroup in Melbourne, Australia. Research findings which indicate that parents benefit from being introduced to culturally sensitive parenting skills and that highlight the efficacy of practical resources to support communication between parents and children were also discussed.

Featured image: © GettyImages/PeopleImages


About the presenters

Erica Frydenberg

Erica is an educational, clinical and organisational psychologist who has practiced extensively in the Australian educational setting. She is a Principal Research Fellow and Associate Professor in psychology at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society.


Erica has authored/co-authored over 150 academic journal articles and chapters in the field of coping and 25 books on a range of topics relating to childhood, adolescence and parenting. She has also developed psychological instruments to measure coping. She has consulted for various organisations, including the National Health and Medical Research Council, Department of Education, Catholic Education Authority and Victorian Assessment and Curriculum Authority.


Erica is the recipient of several awards in recognition of her achievements, including the Distinguished Scholar Award of the American Educational Research Association Special Interest Group Stress and Coping in Education, the University of Melbourne Medal for Research Excellence Faculty of Education Award, the University of Melbourne Knowledge Transfer Award and the Life-time Career Award of the Stress Anxiety Research Society.

Janice Deans

Janice is the Director of the Early Learning Centre based at the University of Melbourne; which is the University of Melbourne’s research and demonstration preschool. She is a long-time advocate for teaching and learning through the arts and has worked locally and internationally in early childhood, primary, tertiary and special education settings.


She has broad expertise relating to early childhood education and service delivery, and her research interests include learning through dance, social emotional learning and education for sustainable development. In 1997, she established Boorai: The Children’s Art Gallery to present the voices of young children as expressed through their art and narratives. Boorai collaborates with educational and community organisations locally, nationally and internationally.