What You Can Do
It takes a village to build resilience. Learn how you can help reduce the impact of ACEs in your home, workplace, and community.
Everyone has a role to play to prevent and reduce ACEs. Strong, active communities provide crucial support. It’s community members like you who can help create the connective community fabric that can help children develop the skills, resources and coping strategies that act as protective factors in times of need.
Parents can be an essential ally to reduce or prevent ACEs in children. There are a few things a parent can do to reduce ACEs below.
Parenting in a Pandemic
Be kind to yourself.
Parenting can be hard. It may be really challenging right now.
We see you.
You are enough. You are doing your best. No one can do it all.
During this time of uncertainty, it is especially important to take care of yourself. When your needs are met, you are more able to meet your child’s needs.
Spending time with children builds connection
It is normal to feel stressed right now. The pandemic has been very difficult for children and parents.
Connections with a supportive parent or other caregiver help to protect children from stress and build resilience. These connections are often small actions that parents and other caregivers don’t realize have a huge impact on a child’s wellbeing.
Try to spend one-on-one time with your children daily. Short periods of time together can increase their sense of safety and security. Your love, support, and patience will help them to manage their stress, and feel loved and secure.
Service providers often interact with children and adults experiencing the negative effects of ACEs when they are at their most vulnerable. Creating safe spaces without triggering trauma responses can take effort, practice and skill. These 12 skills will help to enable positive interactions with clients. However, these skills may not be appropriate for every client, depending on their risk of harm.
ACEs & Resilience Learning Modules
Human service providers can increase their knowledge about adverse childhood experiences and resilience by taking the ACEs and Resilience course. This online course includes the following 5 modules:
- Module 1: An Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences
- Module 2: The Impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences
- Module 3: Resilience
- Module 4: Taking Action to Prevent and Reduce the Effects of ACEs and Build Resilience
- Module 5: ACEs and Resilience Practice Case
Teachers and educators have the power, through their relationships with students and influence on the school environment, to help children grow into resilient adults. Mentally Healthy Schools are places that prevent and reduce risk factors and promote protective factors to foster resilience and build positive mental health for students and educators. Adverse Childhood Experiences are examples of risk factors some children might be dealing with. While mentally healthy schools are essential for these students and other kids who are struggling, they are also important for all students.
Educators create Mentally Healthy Schools when they:
Remember that being curious about children’s experiences and what they are struggling with is not meant to pathologize students or parents. Many factors influence how children behave, feel and interact with those around them.
We support educators efforts to create the conditions for all students to be able to thrive at school, outside of school and for the rest of their lives.
Through action and interaction, educators can develop a positive, mentally healthy environment for students as they learn and develop.
Many of Mentally Healthy Schools elements are echoed in other models. For instance, The Compassionate Schools1 model contains behaviours and principles that help develop student resilience:
Early Childhood Educators
Stress is a normal part of childhood but excessive, prolonged stress can interfere with the normal development of young children. Early childhood educators can play a critical role in mitigating the adverse effects of stress on children including excessive stress associated with Adverse Childhood Experiences and other challenging life events when they:
1. Wolpow, R., Johnson, M.M., Hertel, R., Kincaid, S.O. (2016). The Heart of Learning and Teaching: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success. Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Compassionate Schools.