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
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
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
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.
Here are some steps to take to help children build resilience
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
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!
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:
What are 3 SPECIFIC things you will do this week to start building RESILIENCE in your child(ren)?
Highlands Connect Workbook
Follow along with the download printable PDF or purchase full color spiral version.