Protective Factor 1

Enhance Parental Resilience

In order to deal with the stresses of life, parents need to be strong and flexible, and they need to be able to bounce back when adversity hits. If parents were treated harshly themselves as children, they may need role models, resources, and encouragement to be able to deal with challenges while nurturing their children.

Trusting friendships between parents and early childhood program staff can help parents— and staff—stay healthy and resilient. By creating a welcoming atmosphere; providing time, space, and opportunities for supportive relationships to develop among parents; and being available to parents for informal conversation or formal problem solving, staff contribute to parents’ emotional health and well-being. Mental health consultants working in child care settings also help parents develop resilience, by encouraging them and providing them with concrete strategies.