Highlands Connect Training

Week 6 - ALL ABOUT ACES…AND PARENTING TO PREVENT THEM

What are ACES and how do they impact our lives and the lives of our children?

WHAT ARE ACES

ACES are a set of 10 ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES(traumatic events) that have been studied and shown to contribute to HEALTH problems and a DECREASED quality of life.

These traumatic events can create something called “TOXIC STRESS” which can increase problems with learning and memory, weaken a child’s IMMUNE system, lower a child’s TOLERANCE for stress, and can contribute to many OTHER physical and mental health problems.

THE 10 ACES

Physical Abuse

Sexual Abuse

Verbal Abuse

Physical Neglect

Emotional Neglect

A family member who is depressed or has other mental illness

A family member who is addicted to alcohol or another substance

A family member who is in prison

Witnessing domestic violence

Losing a parent to separation, divorce, or death

ACES STATISTICS

45% of America’s CHILDREN have experienced at least 1 ACE

1 out of every 10 children has EXPERIENCED 3+ ACES, making them “high risk”

Arkansas has the HIGHEST average ACES score out of the entire country with a reported 56% of CHILDREN having experienced at least 1 ACE

CHECK OUT YOUR ACES SCORE HERE

https://stopabusecampaign.org/faq-the-ace-study/what-is-your-ace-score

THE GOOD NEWS

Although nearly HALF of all children have experienced or will experience at least 1 Adverse Childhood Experience, the GOOD news is that ACES can be PREVENTED AND children can successfully HEAL from ACE trauma.

Remember, even with your BEST prevention efforts, some children will still experience traumatic events. However, PURPOSEFUL parenting can help HEAL these wounds and bring restoration to these children.

If you scored HIGH on the ACES quiz, this doesn’t mean you are doomed to a sad life and poor health. It MEANS that you may have some of your OWN healing to do before you can successfully help your child(ren) heal from THEIR own ACES.

HEALING TRAUMA FROM ACES

As a parent, it is important to IMMEDIATELY respond in a healthy and nurturing way if your child has experienced TRAUMA. Research has shown that by building RESILIENCE in children, they can combat the NEGATIVE effects of toxic stress.

Resilience means knowing how to SOLVE problems and how to build and maintain HEALTHY relationships. As parents, it is our job to MODEL resilience to our children and GUIDE them in their resilience development.

BUILDING RESILIENCE

Here are some steps to take to help children build resilience

Be supportive

Help children build social connections

Make sure their basic needs are met

Model healthy relationship practices

Move and Play

Teach kids to identify and express emotions

Build time for rest

Be present

When we help children build resilience, we can take TOXIC stress and turn it into TOLERABLE stress.

Resilience, then, acts like a BUFFER to potential TOXIC stress situations and acts as a PREVENTION tool in the future!

PREVENTING ACES

RESILIENCE is the best prevention for damage caused by trauma

Other ways parents can PROTECT their children from ACES are…

RAISING HAPPY, HEALTHY, RESILIENT KIDS IS POSSIBLE, EVEN IF THEY HAVE EXPERIENCED MULTIPLE ACES

Watch this video for a final summary:

JOURNAL PROMPT

What are 3 SPECIFIC things you will do this week to start building RESILIENCE in your child(ren)?

Highlands Connect Workbook

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