An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
What are ACEs?
Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) can come in the form of mental or physical abuse and includes household dysfunction and neglect. The impact of experiencing ACEs impacts young ones psychologically and can add long-term health complications in adulthood.
Abuse: Physical, Emotional, and Sexual
Neglect: Physical and Emotional
Household Dysfunction: Mental Illness, Incarcerated Relative, Mother Treated Violently, Substance Abuse, Divorce
Other factors can include community and environmental ACEs, such as:
Ways to Prevent ACE exposure
Families can work towards preventing toxic stress by the following:
- Providing a safe, stable, and nurturing environment
- Helping child learn to cope with adversity
- Building resilience in children
- Competence – help them build an understanding of their skills.
- Confidence – help children believe in their own abilities.
- Connection – keeping child connected with other people, school, and community to build a support system.
- Character – Help them develop a clear sense of right and wrong by teaching moral values.
- Contribution – Offer them ways to contribute to the well-being of other people.
- Discovery healthy and long-term coping skills, avoid “quick” fixes when handling stress
- Control – allow children to make their own decisions t0 give them a sense of control.
- Acknowledge what a child is experiencing – even if the conversation is difficult for the parent
- Encourage children to identify their emotions, talk it through, and express them in a healthy way
- Empower them to problem solve an issue they are dealing with
- Encourage healthy coping habits which include meditation/mindfulness, healthy diet, exercise, and consistent sleep routines