Editor’s Note: April Avey Trabucco, Executive Director of Raising Resilience, submitted this guest blog in support of OCH’s campaign ”Plant Hope, Grow Resilience”. Raising Resilience is a parenting support non-profit in Kitsap County. Raising Resilience helps the parenting community walk this journey together for the benefit of all youth and families on Bainbridge Island.
Last spring, when in-person support was unavailable, Raising Resilience pivoted quickly to launch CONNECTIONS CAFÉ, a monthly virtual parent support program that connects parents to each other and local resources in new ways. CONNECTIONS CAFÉ sessions are free and feature local guest speakers on a variety of topics ranging from Mindful Parenting Through Crisis; Positive Parenting; Behavioral Strategies; and Screen Time to Substance Abuse Prevention; Family Mental Health; and Parent Self-Care. Sessions are recorded and available through the Raising Resilience video library as on-demand parenting tools. Additional tools can be found on the CONNECTIONS CAFÉ program page and through supplemental articles on Raising Resilience’s Parent Corner blog.
The American Psychological Association identifies acceptance, self-discovery, self-care, positivity, perspective, and hope as key to our capacity to recover from difficulties. In tandem with CONNECTIONS CAFÉ, Raising Resilience released the “We Are Raising Resilience Together” pledge as a collective movement to lift each other up as we individually move through these steps during this challenging time. The pledge is an opportunity to set an intention to build resilience in yourself and your children. You can share your intention with your family, friends, and neighbors and connect to share what’s working and what you need help with.
During this prolonged period of crisis, our youth need us to practice and model resilience more than ever. How do we do that when it’s increasingly harder to access our own inner resources? Chunking it down, then scaling it up may help.
Take it one step at a time. Set an intention to focus on one resilience building block each week and invite your family to do the same. Raising Resilience’s CONNECTIONS CAFÉ, Parent Corner Blog, and social media offer tools to help you practice these steps. We encourage you to carry these tools into your home and engage your child/teen/young adult in the process of building resilience by carving out time to ask them the following questions:
1. Make CONNECTIONS?
Action: Make a go to list of supportive friends, peers, and family members you can connect with. Identify who you can go to if you are struggling. Include local wellness, mental health, and healthcare providers who provide services you may need to access.
Helpful Tool: Parent Support Resource Page
2. Keep things in PERSPECTIVE?
Action: Get curious and learn about other people’s stories and how they handle obstacles. Recall a time you overcame a difficult situation or circumstance. What worked? What didn’t?
3. Maintain POSITIVITY?
Action: We’re not referring to toxic positivity. Find something positive to focus on or express gratitude for every day. We can hold both hard things and positive things at the same time. We need positive things to balance out the hard things.
Helpful Video: Mindful Parenting Through Crisis
4. Engage in SELF-DISCOVERY?
Action: Journal the journey and take note of its impact from engaging with nature, nutrition, screen-time, social issues and beyond.
Helpful Video: Boost Your Immune System and Your Mood
5. Cultivate ACCEPTANCE?
Action: Normalize how difficult this is. Shift away from what it “should” look like to be fully present and prepared to move forward as you navigate what is (rather than what should be).
Helpful Video: Parenting with Compassion
6. Practice SELF-CARE?
Action: Make a list of the self-care practices that resonate most with you and are easy to access when you need them most.
Helpful Video: Parent Self-Care
7. Hold HOPE?
Action: Recognize that solutions are unfolding and that things will get better.
Helpful Video: Family Mental Wellness Check Up
We’ve included links to CONNECTIONS CAFÉ session recordings that may help parents, grandparents, educators, and caretakers navigate their own process and frame the discussion/practice with the children in their care.
Learn more about Raising Resilience: raisingresilience.org