Protective Factors Change Lives

We’ve all been in situations where we feel helpless to stop something bad from happening. Maybe you’re just a little too far away from someone who is falling to stop them. Perhaps you walk into a room just in time to see the knife slip and someone cut themselves badly while preparing a meal. These are just things that happen, there is no way to be there just a bit earlier, but there are often things we can do to prevent something from happening. Keeping the sidewalk clear of ice and snow and having a handrail can prevent that fall. Taking a cooking class that teaches cutting skills will decrease the chances of a bad cut. Could it be that easy to save a child?

April is “Child Abuse Prevention Month” and there are a surprising number of things we can learn and do to create “Protective Factors,” conditions that serve as buffers to help protect children, just like clean sidewalks, handrails, and cooking classes do.

Encouragement Protective Factor

Give children (and adults) love! Research has shown that babies who receive affection and nurturing from their parents have the best chance of healthy development. This builds a sense of self-confidence in the child that in later years shows itself as better academic performance, healthy interpersonal skills, and an increased ability to deal with stress and challenges. In fact, it affects all aspects of their behavior and development!

By complimenting and encouraging people you fill lives with protective factors!

It works for adults as well. If you are learning something new, a child may be learning to walk, an adult may be learning to play the piano, and your family cheers for you in your accomplishments, you have the desire to continue practicing and working to perfect your new skill. If those around you only point out every failing, every goof, and they are constantly finding fault with your efforts, chances are you will soon give up.

Don’t limit yourself to your family. Compliment and encourage people you meet every day, everywhere! As you spread love and encouragement it is contagious. Someone who may have been having a horrible day and would likely have returned home and taken it out on their family will now go home with a smile and a compliment. They will be building their families up and sharing their love.

Social Connections

Some days we are busy, some days we are insanely busy and we just need to take a break or talk to another adult. These social connections make it easier for us to take care of ourselves and our kids. They give us that emotional outlet so that we don’t “pop our cork” and lose our temper.

At the Box Elder Family Support Center, you can volunteer to help out or come in and enjoy spending time with our volunteers, either way, you are activating that protective factor. Let your kids play with other kids while you take a class and chat with adults. Teach a class and enjoy the same benefits! We have people here to listen, strengthen, support, share ideas, and more. All of this creates another protective factor.

We can help you find answers to life’s questions creating protective factors for you.

Instruction Manuals

How many times have you wished this kid, this life, or this moment came with instructions? We have classes from trained instructors. We can even come to your home, business, or group to teach. What more could you ask? This builds a protective factor that only grows stronger as your knowledge base increases. We also have therapists if you have specialized issues you’re dealing with or if you just need to sit down and chat it out. Super bonus, we provide childcare while you’re here. This protective factor is another great buffer that benefits everyone, the participants, volunteers, and professionals. We’re all here helping each other and that gives us those warm fuzzies we all need to help us get through the day.

As parents learn how to effectively parent they feel better about their efforts and they begin to see their successes as their children reflect their positive parenting. Children will succeed in school, have a greater desire to achieve independence, show creativity, and grow emotionally. As you learn to adjust your parenting to become a calmer person who shows greater love and support, your children and spouse will begin to show the same to you. It’s a win-win situation!

Resilience Protective Factor

Let’s face it, some days life simply sucks. Nothing goes right, everything breaks, and you’re ready to just curl up in a corner and eat a box of chocolates. Stress happens and we all need to be able to take a breather. This support can come from your spouse, your family, your friends, and us. Don’t take your stress out on your loved ones, especially your kids. If you need a break we’re here for you, 24/7.

Some people come from abusive backgrounds and need help breaking the cycle. Others may be experiencing financial setbacks that are putting them in a hard place. Maybe your stressor is health or marital conflict, or violence in some form. We are here, we have professionals to guide you, information on programs that can help, and more. If you are in a position to help provide or strengthen resilience protective factors we’d love to have your help as well.

Together we can create an abundance of protective factors.

Basic Support Protective Factors

When you have a job, food, housing, and transportation you have a basic support protective factor. There are many who are lacking in all or one of these areas. When a community comes together to help provide these basic support protective factors everyone benefits. The community becomes a safer place, the children raised in it become adults who give back to the community, and those who helped build relationships that provide protective factors as well.

There are always unexpected things that happen in life. If you are blessed to not be in need, volunteering some of your time or abundance builds those relationships so that when you are in an unexpected situation you know how to get help. If you are in need, we’re here to help out with a meal, a moment of peace, some education, a hand to hold, and more.

Protective Factors Benefit All

The bottom line is a protective factor is helping out, it is asking for help, it is strengthening one another. By doing this we protect children from child abuse, we strengthen families, we build safe communities, we make wonderful things happen!