Parents who can cope with the stresses of everyday life, as well an occasional crisis, have resilience; they have the flexibility and inner strength necessary to bounce back when things are not going well. Multiple life stressors, such as a family history of abuse or neglect, health problems, marital conflict, or domestic or community violence—and financial stressors, such as unemployment, poverty, and homelessness—may reduce a parent's capacity to cope effectively with the typical day-to-day stresses of raising children. The following resources support parents and caregivers in building their resilience.
ZERO TO THREE (2016)
Explains how resilience can be recognized and fostered at four levels: the individual, the family, the school and caregiving systems, and the larger community. The resource provides suggestions on how parents can build their children's resilience daily by teaching self-care, emphasizing the positive, building a strong parent-child bond, reading together, encouraging social skills, maintaining a daily routine, nurturing self-esteem, and practicing reflection.
Building Resilience in Troubled Times: A Guide for Parents
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Discusses ways for parent to build a better support during difficult times to continue to give their children what they need to grow up healthy and safe.
Building the Skills Adults Need for Life: A Guide for Practitioners
Harvard University, Center on the Developing Child (2017)
Presents a guide for practitioners that explains the science behind our core life skills, what affects their development, and how practitioners can help. The resource includes information on ways to help adults build skills, how stress affects our skills, and how to deliver services in ways that can help reduce stress.
Engaging Resilience: How Responsive Caregiving Lays the Foundation for Children to Thrive
Discusses the importance of the relationship with a caring adult provides children with the stability and security they need for healthy emotional, social, and behavioral development.
Children's Trust Fund Alliance (2019)
Describes the importance of parental resilience as a protective factor and provides examples of everyday actions that organizations can take to demonstrate to parents that they are valued; honor each family's race, culture, and heritage; encourage parents to manage stress effectively; support parents as decision-makers; and help parents learn how to buffer their child during stressful times.
Parental Resilience Action Sheet (PDF - 345 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2018)
Identifies stressors that may negatively affect parental resilience. The resource provides child welfare workers with questions, things to look for, and activities to do with parents in order to facilitate parental resilience.
Protective Factors - Parental Resilience [Video]
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2016)
Presents a video on parental resilience as a protective factor, which reviews how parents can be resilient and use their inner strength to meet personal challenges and ones that affect the entire family.
Protective Factors: Meet Parenting Stress With Parental Resilience
Family Exchange Center (2017)
Provides a comprehensive overview about the role that parental resilience can play in counteracting parental and family stressors, as well as practical tips for how to develop this protective factor. This resource also highlights the importance of parental resilience in a case study.
Strengths-Based Practice in Troubled Times (PDF - 73 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy (2020)
Outlines six steps providers who work with families can take to stay grounded in family strengths as a way to overcome challenges and help families thrive.
Strengthening Families and the 5 Protective Factors Series: Parental Resilience
National Fatherhood Initiative (2016)
Highlights how the National Fatherhood Initiative can help child welfare professionals using the Protective Factors Framework build parental resilience in their community through increased father engagement.
Ways to Promote Children’s Resilience to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Bartlett & Vivrette (2020)
Discusses how during COVID-19 has impacted social and economic factors that can undermine children’s development and well-being. It is imperative that children receive the critical support they need during a difficult time.