Protective Factors in Healthy Families

July 30, 2019, Shirley Blake

We are over halfway done with 2019! How does that happen? It is almost August aka “National Learning Month”,  which is very appropriate as we are nearing back to school.

Resource fairs are a great place to get parenting/family resource information.

A year ago, I was learning about a new parent engagement opportunity for our region, something called “Parent Cafes”. Parent Cafes are structured conversations for parents that are focused around Strengthening Families™  protective factors.

What are protective factors? I would describe a protective factor as the good and positive things that help you get through life. An example would be my husband buying me a coffee or giving me a hug. A more correct and technical definition can be found on Wikipedia. The five protective factors that Parent Café Topics are based on are:

-Knowledge: Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development- Growing up there may have been times when we disagreed with how we were parented yet we find ourselves in the same parenting patterns. Learning skills and what appropriate expectations for our child’s actions are is helpful.
-Relationships: Positive Social Connections- People within communities that can provide meaningful support when needed. Connections to people or groups that allow you to give back or volunteer are empowering for you and helpful to others.
-Communication: Social and Emotional Competence- Being able to self-regulate, teach our children to handle their emotions in appropriate ways through communicating their feelings in a diplomatic way makes for healthy  relationships.
-Support: Concrete Support in Times in Needs- Basics needs are essential for families to thrive and sometimes life can get extremely hard. Having access to the support and help needed during hardships aid in getting through the rough patches.
-Resilience: Parent Resilience- Being able to deal with stress effectively and finding ways to problem solve.

Having friends or family that are also similar stages of motherhood is very helpful!

Protective factors help you out in life, and I am sure we can think of times in our life when we struggled and a protective factor helped us. For example, positive social connections would be a friend listening or being there for you. Another one is communication–diplomatic, respectful and effective communication–helps you to state your needs or wants. All of these protective factors do require some skill to use them properly. Some of us may be naturals at it, and some of us may need to hone in on these skills. I will be blogging about protective factors for the upcoming months to dissect them a little further.

For the month of August, I will be writing about Knowledge. Two pieces of Knowledge: knowing how to parent,  raising a human is hard work and knowledge around Child development to help with the “Is this normal?” type of questions.

Stay tuned for more!

 

Healthy Families all the way!