Protective Factors are tools, knowledge, and services that support and are found in individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that reinforce healthy development and well-being of children and families. These factors help ensure that children and youth function well at home, in school, at work, and in the community today and into adulthood. Protective factors can strengthen parents and caregivers by providing resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively - even under stress. 

Please click on the links below to learn more about each protective factor and resources in north Idaho. 

All parents have inner strengths or resources that can serve as a foundation for building their resilience. These may include faith, flexibility, humor, communication skills, problems-solving skills, mutually supportive caring relationships or the ability to identify and access outside resources and services when needed. All these qualities strengthen their capacity to parent effectively, and they can be nurtured and developed through concrete skill-building activities or through supportive interactions with others. 

Parents who understand how children typically grow and develop are more likely to be able to provide their children with respectful communication, consistent rules and expectations, developmentally appropriate limits, and opportunities that promote independence. But no parent can be an expert on all aspects of infant, child, and teenage development or on the most effective ways to support a child at each stage. 

When parents understand normal developmental milestones, they can lessen the frustration and use less harsh discipline. 

Social Connections support children in multiple ways. Parents with a network of emotionally supportive friends, family, and neighbors often find that it is easier to care for their children and themselves. Most parents need people they can call on once in a while when they need a sympathetic listener, advice, or concrete support, such as transportation or occasional child care. 

Being new to a community, recently divorces, or a first-time parent makes a support network even more important. 

Families whose basic needs (for food, clothing, housing, and transportation) are met have more time and energy to devote to their children's safety and well-being. Parents who go public with their need usually find that they are not alone, and many are willing to help. 

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~ Strong families as for help when they need it. 

Children need help learning how to name and tame their emotions. As they grow, their capacity to share and be friends continues to develop. Children's emerging ability to form bonds and interact positively with others, self-regulate their emotions and behavior, communicate their feelings, and solve problems effectively has a positive impact on their relationships with their family, other adults, and peers. 

Parents and caregivers can be more responsive to children's needs as children learn to tell parents what they need and how parental actions make them feel, rather than "acting out" difficult feelings. 

Website By: A.G. Mesenbrink