Parenting is a very rewarding and joyful experience. But it often comes with its fair share of challenges and stress. Parental and familial stress may come from a variety of sources, such as typical life events and changes, social pressures, environmental conditions, and even big, long-term traumas (e.g. a global pandemic). Research indicates that the way a parent/caregiver reacts to and copes with trauma and stress has a larger impact on a child than the trauma or stress itself. In other words, resilient caregivers build resilient children.
Resilience is the process of managing stress and functioning well even when faced with challenges, adversity, and trauma.. When parents and caregivers have the ability to guide their family through adversities and heal from trauma, they not only build their own resilience but also the resilience of their children.
One Bounce project is doing just that. In partnership with Kosair Charities’ Face It Movement and Cabbage Patch Settlement House, Bounce is piloting a project that seeks to build the resilience of parents and caregivers by creating self-sustaining parental support groups for Cabbage Patch parents and caregivers. In these “safe spaces” led by trained, peer facilitators, parents will be able to share their experiences and challenges, receive peer support for problem solving, and ultimately build personal and family resilience. Each session includes resilience building activities to aid participants in developing skills to address current and future adversity, as well as opportunities to connect with one another to discuss parental best practices, challenges, and problem solving.
Building parental resilience is something that we can ALL play a role in. We can lift parents and caregivers up by ensuring they feel valued, normalizing the difficulties of parenting, and encouraging self-care, especially during stressful times. By helping to build the resilience of parents and caregivers, we are creating strong, healthy families.