Monday, December 11, 2017

Strengthening Families with 5 Protective Factors


Every family faces rough patches, difficult situations and downright scary times at one point or another.  It is the reality and it happens to us all.  The circumstances may be different but the struggle is real for all of us.

Research shows that the presence of these 5 Protective Factors build family strengths and an environment that promotes optimal child development:

PARENTAL RESILIENCE
No one can eliminate stress from parenting, but a parent’s ability to manage and bounce back from challenges can affect how they and their family deals with stress. Resilience is finding ways to solve problems, making and keeping trusting relationships including relationships with our own child, and knowing how and where to seek help when you need it.

SOCIAL CONNECTIONS
Our neighbors, family members and friends are people we can go to for emotional support, help solving problems, and parenting advice when we need it. Networks of support are important to parents and also give us the chance to “give back” which builds self- esteem and benefits our community.

CONCRETE SUPPORT IN TIMES OF NEED
Meeting basic needs like food, shelter, clothing and health care is necessary for families to thrive. Sometimes families fall into crisis such as loss, domestic violence, mental illness or substance abuse. Services and supports must be in place for stability, treatment and any other help families need to get through the crisis.

KNOWLEDGE OF PARENTING AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
We all want to do what's best for our kids but they did not come with manuals.  Correct and timely information about parenting, child development and age appropriate behaviors for children at every age helps parents see their children in a positive light and supports their healthy development.  Some parents grew up with difficult or negative experiences and may need help to change parenting patterns and beliefs.

SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE OF CHILDREN
Our children's ability to communicate their feelings and interact positively with others helps build good relationships with their family, peers and other adults.  Early attention to delayed development and challenging behaviors can avoid added stress, keep development on track and help families find resources and assistance for the child and the parent.

Strengthening Families benefits ALL families.  When families, communities, service systems and organizations see families through strength first and build on the protective factors everyone will thrive. 



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