Parenting, even on the best days, is hard work. When life throws in challenges, it can be difficult to manage the stress and keep parenting well. When we are stressed, we are less likely to use positive discipline and be available to our kids when they need us. If stress and problems become overwhelming, it increases parents' risk of using overly harsh punishment, being inattentive, or even abusive or neglectful of children. This creates a toxic stress environment for children, which disrupts the structure of the developing brain, increasing the likelihood of poor outcomes for the child. Therefore, it is critical that parents are supported during stressful times so that their children are given quality early experiences.
Strengthening Families is an approach to working with families that encourages the healthy development of children. The Strengthening Families protective factor, Parental Resilience, helps parents navigate challenges in their lives in order to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect.