Growing resiliency in children starts with you
As a children's advocate I used to tell people what I did and they would get sad for me. I would quickly reassure them that I loved my job because I got to see so much hope and resilience. Every child or teen I met with was amazing in their own way. That's why I was so excited to share what I learned in the Growing Resiliency webinar for the Lifespan Project.
During the webinar we asked participants to think about some common characteristics of a child. They came up with great ideas-- silly, playful, timid, energetic...the list went on. Ultimately they painted a bright and cheerful picture. I also asked them to describe characteristics of a child who had been abused. They offered a mixed response-- strong, scared, untrusting, tricked. The point of this exercise is to show that any of the first set of descriptors are still there for a child who's survived sexual abuse. It's so important that we speak to and play with the silly, energetic child while also working through the feelings of distrust or fear.
Throughout the rest of the webinar we discussed the ways that CSA impacts both the child and the family's experiences along different social levels. It was a great scenario based discussion. Lexi from PCAR was my co-presenter and she shared some powerful information about the 7 C's of resiliency and ways that advocates can foster those traits in the children they work with. Even more importantly, we talked about ways you can build these skills for non-offending family members.
This was a fun webinar to facilitate and I think many of the participants gained a lot from discussing ideas with one another. If you're interested in checking it out, a recorded version is available on our campus.