Build Children’s Strengths with Positive Experiences

Good news for parents and kids everywhere!

In the past several decades, scientists have examined the effects of what are known as Adverse Childhood Experiences. They have gotten really good at understanding how these events lead to a number of negative outcomes like physical and mental illness or even a shorter life. They have also discovered which factors help to cushion the effects of these experiences. These include children having a supportive adult in their lives, the use of certain parenting practices, or living in connected communities.

Today, scientists are taking a different approach. And this is where the really good news comes in. It turns out that Positive Childhood Experiences, or PCEs play an equally significant role in the future wellbeing of our children and can buffer the effects of negative experiences. Children can have PCEs on a daily basis with parents, family members, teachers, coaches, neighbors, and other community members.

Luckily, KITS offers a lot of suggestions for Positive Childhood Experiences! For families, experiences like reading stories, telling stories, singing, sitting down to eat together, playing, engaging in family traditions, and other bonding activities, were shown to have tremendous impacts on their children. Family self-care can go a long way!

These PCEs help children flourish. Children can become more resilient, better at self-regulation, open to learning new things, and persistent even when challenged.

And a little goes a long way! Every opportunity we have to connect with our children, ask them about their day, help them work through difficulties, and help them foster the self-esteem and skills they need to nurture positive friendships is a step toward future wellbeing.

With so much adversity in the world, it feels great to focus on the positive and recognize all of the little things we do as parents that help our children be the best they can be. Keep it up, parents!

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