• Jennifer Rhoad

The most important protective factor

Updated: Jul 14

Build Strong Connections


The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. Most of us have opportunities to interact with youth on a regular basis, whether it be in our families, at church, through other community youth-serving organizations, or simply when running errands at the grocery store. Making these interactions positive experiences that make youth feel valued, seen and cared for can have a significant impact on their lives.

Action Ideas:

  1. Make it Simple: Creating a positive relationship with a child doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as listening, practicing empathy, and letting them know they are important to you. The small things we do to let children and youth know they are seen, heard, and valued can have an incredible impact in their lives. Whether you are raising children of your own, choosing to mentor a child in your community, or just interacting with kids occasionally in your daily life, know that your interactions make a difference.

  2. Strive for Developmental Relationships: The Search Institute Developmental Relationships study has figured out what makes relationships impactful for youth. The more developmental relationships our youth have, the more resilient they can be. Learn more about actions you can take to make your relationships more impactful.

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