What is this thing called resilience?

Once people understand what ACEs are they ask “what now?” What’s next is the idea of resiliency. Resiliency allows us to be able to move past the negative consequences of adverse childhood experiences. Resiliency allows us to have hope in the future. Our desire to create resiliency leads us to search for ways to support and help families and communities.

Three powerful ways to create support are tapping into individual capabilities, attachment and belonging with caring competent people and a protective community, faith or cultural process. We know that individuals can lead successful thriving lives despite their ACE score. These three protective factors above are why they can overcome the damage from their ACEs and lead healthy happy lives.

Explore your communities for positive supportive protective systems. What do the protective symptoms look like in your community? Are there places to grow support  your systems?

Share with us your ideas.

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You can also share your responses with us by texting sciparent and your comments to 95577.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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Another Step on the Journey

Life is a journey. There are many steps, twists, and turns along the way. Some we plan and others just happen. But together, these steps make our journey our lives. In 2011 I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Science of Parenting team. As a family life educator, parent, and grandparent, I found this an exciting step. It’s been a joy to work with Lori as we shared timely topics via the podcasts, blogs, and webinars.

Now another turn in the path takes me to a different role within Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. Janet Smith will now work with Lori to move Science of Parenting forward. I will occasionally respond to blogs because I plan to continue reading and learning.

Parenting is also a journey. While planning is helpful, life with children is full of surprises. Science of Parenting is designed to be an educational support along the way. Enjoy the journey!

Donna Donald

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

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When Do I Start?

Sure we want our kids to be able to make good decisions. But how do we get from point A to point B? The simple answer is – slowly but methodically. The process begins early, as early as when our kids begin to assert themselves.

In the podcast Lori talked about how children between 4 and 10 often find it hard to make decisions. So, here are some ideas to slowly help young children make decisions.

  • Offer a choice only when there is a choice. Don’t say “what do you want for supper?” when you’ve already got the tater tot casserole in the oven.
  • Offer just a few choices. Too many choices are overwhelming and confusing. Ask, “do you want an apple or string cheese for a snack”” rather than “what do you want to wear today?” and then throw open the closet door.
  • Offer safe choices. Young children don’t have the knowledge or experience to always know what is right or wrong, what is safe or unsafe. An example of a safe choice is, “do you want to hold Daddy’s hand or Mommy’s hand while we cross the street?” Asking “do you want to hold my hand to cross the street?” is not a safe choice to give a young child.
  • Offer your support. As a parent you can help your child think things through before she or he makes a decision. Chelsey is at the store with you and wants to send $5.00 she has been saving. But she can’t decide whether to buy a dress for her doll or some sparkly markers. Talk to Chelsey about what she will use the most, how long the items might last, etc. You are teaching her how to think things through and each time the decision will come a bit easier.

What have you done to help a young child begin to make decisions?

Donna Donald

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

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Helping with Homework (Part II)

Now that you have created an environment that is conducive to high quality homework completion, it’s time to dive in, get hands on, and help your child with his/her homework. Below are tips for supporting your child’s homework efforts.

Be available during your child’s regular homework time. Although it might be tempting to run errands or get in a workout at the end of the day, try to make yourself available to your child. You can use your child’s regular homework time to complete household chores, ensuring that you are around to provide support when your child needs it.

Be interested in what your child is learning. Even if your child does not ask for help, it’s good to stop by and check in on him/her from time to time. You can ask questions about what your child is learning, share experiences you have had with the subject, get into a discussion about the topic, or listen to the things your child is learning. Your interest and concern helps your child stay motivated.

Help your child when he/she gets frustrated. When children get frustrated with a homework problem, your help is needed. Try letting your child talk through the problem, or providing some helpful hints to direct him/her in the right direction. Be careful not to give away the answer, but instead, provide guidance so your child can arrive at the answer him/herself. If your child has reached the point of no return and is overwhelmed with frustration, you can be a huge help by simply suggesting a short break from homework.

Expand your child’s learning beyond the classroom. Giving children the opportunity to take what they have learned outside of the classroom and apply it to real life will help them better understand and remember what they’ve learned. You can even apply academic information to your child’s interests!  For example, help your child understand math by discussing the statistics from last night’s baseball game. Encourage your child to expand his/her reading skills by looking up and reading articles about skateboarding. You can even broaden on your child’s knowledge of history by visiting a museum.

If needed, find extra support for your child. If your child is continually struggling with a subject, and you feel as though you have exhausted the level of support you can provide, look into outside resources for more help. Some schools provide peer tutoring, some communities have volunteer tutors, and some teachers are willing to spend a little extra time before or after school to work individually with students.

Donna Donald

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

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