It all starts here. You see, every family goes through some adversity. For some families, however, the adversities are too severe or too many for a child’s stress response. If you’re a parent in this situation, fostering supportive relationships is the best thing you can do to help your kid. Here are some ways to make that happen:
It Starts at Infancy
The little games we play with our babies have some pretty compelling science behind them. Playing peek-a-boo, singing or reading stories can help your baby develop millions of neural connections per second. So do the small things; they have big impact.
Connect to Community
Human beings need social connection to lead healthy lives. Constructive social engagement and connectedness create meaningful connection to a community. Family events, community activities, local church programs, sports, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are all great options here.
Know Your Kids, Know Their Friends
Friends become powerful influences on children, especially as they grow older. Who are your child’s three best friends at school? Here are 20 questions you can ask instead of the usual “how was school?”
A Go-To For the Hard Stuff
Kids need someone to talk to about the difficult things in their lives. Who’s your kid’s go-to? It could be mom, dad, grandma, uncle, auntie, a beloved teacher, sports coach or school counselor.
When kids have strong, supportive relationships in their lives, they’re far more resilient. And resilient kids—even those who have experienced high levels of adversity—have better school and health outcomes than those who are not as resilient. That’s huge.
The Power Of Hugs
Physical contact is a key ingredient in growing a healthy brain and a strong body. In fact, a hug goes much deeper than the skin. Hugs help calm the stress response, protecting and healing from the inside out. So, give your kid a high-five or a hug to let them know that they're loved and supported. You can never get too many snuggles.