Some children naturally develop resilience, while others do not. However, resilience is a skill that can be learned. Studies have shown that the single most common factor for children who do build resilience is having a stable, supportive relationship with a parent, caregiver, or other adults.
Children affected by ACEs are more at risk of negative long-term outcomes, but that doesn't mean negative outcomes are inevitable. Children can learn to build resilience with support from the social systems that surround them: their families, neighbors, teachers, childcare providers, or others.
Protective factors are tools that individuals, families, and communities can use to build resilience and mitigate or eliminate the effects of ACEs. Protective factors help parents to find resources, support, or coping strategies to help them parent effectively, even under stress.
Parents can better deal with stress by learning creative problem solving, building trusting relationships, maintaining a positive attitude, and seeking help when it is needed.
Friends, family members, neighbors, and other members of a community can provide emotional support and tangible assistance to parents.
Learning about raising young children and the appropriate expectations for their behavior at various ages can help parents better understand and care for children.
Families need to feel they can meet basic needs, such as providing food, clothing, and shelter; and have access to services and assistance — especially in times of crisis.
Children with challenging behaviors are more likely to be abused, so early identification and working with them helps keep their development on track and keeps them safe.