Post supported by @ameracadpeds @CDC. Opinions are my own.
Learning about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) has impacted my parenting conversations. One important thing that research shows is that ACEs can be prevented, and the impact mitigated, when you provide kids with strong relationships, positive experiences, and safe spaces.
Over the last few years I have discussed the importance of finding three sources of support (e.g., family friends, pediatrician, family organization) to prevent ACEs. Why? Because we all have the potential to be someone else’s source of support.
I have had several conversations with my daughter about the importance of finding trusted adult relationships—that it is a really good thing to expand the circle of supportive resources and caring relationships outside of the home. We have also talked about the importance of listening to her gut and feeling comfortable and safe with her choices. These conversations have been really important for us.
I am grateful that my daughter has identified one of my good friends as a trusted adult. She was able to discuss what was bothering her and my friend was able to provide a listening ear and also bridge the communication gap so that my daughter felt comfortable enough coming to me when she was ready. Our relationship, and her network of trusted relationships, has grown stronger as a result.
By providing kids with strong relationships, positive experiences, and safe spaces we can help kids reach their full potential and be part of the solution to prevent ACEs.