All parents face confusion and stress raising children. When parents or children face significant challenges like poverty, mental health issues, addiction, family violence, foster care placement, or histories of trauma, it can be even harder to know how to build a safe and loving family life. Stories here explore how parents have overcome challenges to build strong families.

‘Your History Is Not Destiny’

Most parents who were abused do not harm their kids.

Although people often talk about “breaking the cycle of abuse,” studies show that most parents who were physically abused as children do not grow up to physically abuse their children, says Katherine Pears, a research scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center. Here she explains the research on abuse and parenting:

That’s a notion in people’s heads that if you haven’t had a good model of … Read More

Ages and Stages

Developmental milestones help you know how your child is doing.

If your child is having trouble doing some of these things, you might want to contact 311 or 1-800-522-5006 for information about services to help your child. Early help makes a difference!

3 Months

At three months of age, most babies:

—turn their heads toward bright colors and lights

—move both eyes in the same direction together

—recognize bottle or breast —respond to their mother’s voice —make cooing sounds—bring … Read More

Promoting the Positive: The importance of supporting positive childhood experiences and healing in families, schools and communities

Research links adverse childhood experiences, known as ACEs, such as abuse, neglect or experiencing or witnessing violence, to health and well-being challenges in adulthood. But in her research, Dr. Christina Bethell, director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that many people who experienced ACEs also had positive experiences as children that made a difference in adulthood.

Here, Dr. Bethell discusses the importance of focusing on positive and healing experiences for individuals, families and communities. She explains how to establish family routines that promote well-being even when families are under stress and how parents can set the agenda to get help their families may need.

How You Can Help Your Child Cope During COVID-19

Adapted from the Brain Architects Podcast with Jack Shonkoff, Harvard Center on the Developing Child

Adults are really
struggling with the pressures and tensions of this time. When we’re feeling
significant stress, anxiety, unease and even depression about what’s going on,
you don’t have as much energy to be on your best game at all times.

For everyone, feeling some sense of safety and control brings
your stress system back down. And
none of us are capable of
feeling safe and secure … Read More

The Diagnosis

I didn’t want to believe that my daughter was autistic, but getting the diagnosis has helped us both

The psychologist’s waiting room was dim and cozy but my
daughter was impatient, running up and down. Several doctors came out to see
who was causing the ruckus. Finally, my daughter’s psychologist came out. She
sat quietly observing my daughter for a few minutes, jotting down notes and asking
me questions.

Finally, I blurted out, “Doctor, is my daughter delayed?”

When she said … Read More