Being a parent is the toughest job you'll ever love. For military parents, raising children can be challenging when you add in moving and deployments. Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that increase your family's health and well-being. From infants to teens, protective factors are good for every child and every family. These six protective factors build on your family's strengths and can easily be included in your daily routine:
- Nurture and attachment — Research has shown that simple acts of affection, such as hugs or loving words for younger children and listening to worries or being involved in their activities for older children, have a big impact on a child's growth and development.
- Knowledge of parenting and child development — Take some of the stress out of parenting. Stay up to date on parenting and child development information to help you recognize your children's capabilities and set realistic expectations for their behavior.
- Parental resilience — The ability to recognize stress and deal with it in a healthy way increases your well-being and shows your kids positive ways to cope. Use these tips to help you recognize the signs of stress and distracted parenting.
- Social connections — Having a solid group of friends and family to help out and give you advice can take the edge off a rough day and allow you to enjoy your family even more.
- Social and emotional competence of children — Your children's ability to interact with the world around them makes a big difference in how they form outside relationships.
- Concrete supports for parents — Every family needs a support network in the community and at home to help overcome challenges.
Protective factors can be part of your every day, hectic family life, and they can have lifelong effects on your family's happiness and well-being.