Simple Ways to Build Resilience and Strengthen
Connections with Children in Care
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the first Saturday in April is National Love Our Children Day. This day highlights the need for children to be raised in loving and supportive home environments which is foundational in preventing further traumatic experiences.
Children who suffer from the prolonged stress of abuse and neglect tend to struggle in their behavioral, physical and cognitive abilities. Resource parents can provide stability and security which strengthens children’s resilience and healthy development. Although each child is different, they all learn from example. They learn what love is through the love shown to them.
Resource parents need to be intentional with their efforts to connect with children in care. Below are some simple ways to build connections and trust.
Have Fun Together
Prioritize spending quality time with your child. Fun activities such as playing board or video games, building a fort, playing hide and seek, putting together puzzles and creating masterpieces with modeling clay deepens relationships and fashions lasting memories. This is a great way to show your child you value them and support their interests.
Affirm what they do right. Offer praise whenever you see your child making good choices. Focus on positive character traits — when they speak kindly to others.
Express Yourself in Healthy Ways
Examine the state of your own emotional and mental health. You need to understand what is going on inside of you because your child will mirror your actions. If you successfully navigate challenging emotions and situations, your child most likely will, too.
Look for the effort and improvement in your child. Be mindful that what is beyond their control is achievement and accomplishment and what is within their control is the effort to improve. For example, don’t focus on grades — focus on if your child is giving a good, consistent effort in each
of their classes. Children will relax and focus even more on that effort because they know they are valued regardless of the outcome. This builds their confidence and creates a positive cycle of behavior and connection.