There’s good news! You can help protect and heal children from toxic stress.

Research shows that the right kind of support and care can mitigate the impact of toxic stress in children and help them bounce back. There are ways parents can support a healthy stress response: sleep, nutrition, exercise, mental health, mindfulness and healthy relationships. Together, all of these important things can help turn the stress response down and can reduce the potential negative effects of ACEs.

On this site, you’ll find practical tips on how you can incorporate these building blocks into your kid’s day. We can help kids bounce back, together.

Supportive Relationships

Safe and nurturing relationships can help protect children’s brains and bodies from the harmful effects of stress and trauma – and even reverse the damage. Parents with high ACEs may find giving this support harder than those with a relatively secure childhood. To do the best job for your child, you need to have some support for yourself. Learn more.


Children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) may have an especially hard time getting enough sleep. Helping them get a good night’s sleep – every night — is an important step toward helping them cope with hardships from their past. Get sleep tips here.

Good Nutrition

Kids with early exposure to ACEs are more likely to indulge in compulsive overeating. Regular family mealtimes can help protect against that, but they’re losing ground as families grab fast food on the way home or arrive too late for dinner. Learn how to revive the family meal and other nutrition tips.


When it come to your kids and good health, exercise is likely just what the doctor ordered. Not only does exercise help kids ward off obesity and related disorders, but it may help kids who’ve experienced childhood trauma fight depression and other ACEs-related mood disorders. PlusAs a bonus, they may be sharper and more focused at school. Here are some ways to get moving.

Mental Health

There’s a strong link between ACEs and mental health disorders. Children three to five who’ve lived through traumatic events have a hard time calming themselves down or making friends. Later in life, adults with ACEs are at a higher risk of developing depression, substance abuse disorders, and other mental health problems. Learn what you can do to protect yourself and your children.


Children exposed to ACEs may have difficulty controlling their impulses when faced with stressful situations – and if you’re a parent with high ACES, you may have the same problem. But exercises involving deep breathing and mindfulness – that is, paying close attention to what you are feeling and experiencing – can help you stay calm and in control. Learn more.