WHY LET’S CONNECT?
Resilience refers to the ability and capacity to adapt, persist, and respond to significant life change, stress, adversity, and/or trauma. Research has identified clearly the single most important factor for promoting resilience in children and youth is a supportive relationship with a safe, stable and nurturing adult (CITE). Also linked closely with resilient outcomes for youth and adults are social and emotional skills (CITE); these include emotional awareness, emotion regulation, empathy and perspective-taking. Let’s Connect focuses on strengthening caregiver-child relationships in the very ways that support resilience; first, by enhancing adult social and emotional capacities and wellbeing, then by teaching and coaching adults how to promote these same capacities for children within their day-to-day interactions.
Let’s Connect takes the perspective that all emotions serve an important purpose in our lives. By paying attention to our emotional experiences, and attuning to the emotional experiences of children and youth, we build capacity for responding to challenges in healthy and adaptive ways. Attention to emotional experiences is calming and regulating, strengthens relationship, and offers important information about how to effectively and sensitively respond to challenging youth behaviors.
Children and youth who have experienced trauma need the adults in their lives to respond effectively to their unique emotional, cognitive, and behavioral needs; this is the reason that the involvement of a supportive caregiver is emphasized in many of the most effective treatments for childhood trauma. Let’s Connect foster caregiver supportive communication and response around child emotional needs, challenging family topics (e.g. divorce, incarceration, separation, loss) and child traumatic experiences.