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Pam Wessel-Estes: Member Spotlight & Amazing Video about Parenting with ACEs

I spend a good amount of my time begging people to let me share details about the work they have done and are doing. I don't mind because there's so much that needs to be shared. 

Like the work of Pam Wessel-Estes, one of our own Parenting with ACEs group members. Please check out this You Tube video she produced with her son, entitled, Personal and Parental Reflections on Adverse Childhood Experiences.

It's fantastic.


It has all the personal warmth of a personal video but all the sound and video quality of a professional product. It gives a brief summary of the ACEs test and study. It's honest and hopeful without minimizing the impact of ACEs or offering simplistic cures or solutions. 

It has interviews with a diverse range of parents and it was listening to them that got me all weepy. It wasn't the high ACEs or what caused them that made me sad. Some parents shared their ACE score but little details about their ACE memories or experiences. I didn't need the details to recognize my own struggles, healing and growth. I could feel the losses of the past, the understanding that we parents with ACEs need to differently than we were parented. a1

Ultimately, it's loving and lovely because these parents not only gain a better understanding of their own parents but of themselves. It's about being a break-the-cycle parent and grandparent. It's about how and why the ACE study and sciences helps improve our parenting, day to day.A3

Here are just a few quotes:

"When I found out about ACEs, what I found out was that I was normal. That other people that had the same experiences that I did made a lot of the same decisions. And I was really able to look at it as a part of a growing and healing process instead of a deficit instead of me being bad or me being broken."a4

Parents talked about how one has passed on some of the ACEs and also the ways they wish they had parented differently and how they parent differently now. 

"I've become more tolerant of my children, my grandchildren's behavior, than I was before I heard about ACEs. I tend to talk with them not talk at them which is what I did with my daughters."a2

It's excellent at showing the faces and voices of parents with ACEs and how learning about ACEs can improve one's parenting. Parents gave specific examples of what they have done in the past as well as how they parent now.

"As parents we want to teach them and sometimes, in the past, I have used criticism to teach them. I really found that I want my kids to grow and grow stronger so I really started focusing on those positive aspects."

It wasn't too intense but it was real enough to be believable. That's a hard thing to pull off. I recommend this video to all, especially those who wonder how and why this information can help individuals and families parenting with and after ACEs.

It's available to anyone who wishes to view or use it in workshops. "my desire in creating it was for it to be used," she said. 

"I am really proud of it; it was both touching and fun to create it with my son. I had in my mind at one point that it would be perfect to run in a loop where people sit and wait, staring at TV screens with horrible news stories running...

I also authored a children's book about homelessness a few years ago. I have read the book in a wide number of venues, and, my favorite has been in emergency shelters. I have found that the parents have found as much meaning and hope from the story as the children did!

The book is titled 'A Quilt and a Home'. 

a quilt and a home

Mostly I do fundraisers and give service agencies the profit over my cost. It has been a wonderful experience bringing the story into the world, and I hope to write a few more children's books on social issues that are not talked about much."  Pam Wessel-Estes

This community is filled with amazing people  like Pam doing amazing work, personally and professionally, creatively and in the community.

Feel free to leave a comment for Pam. Let her know what you think about this project and if and how it impacted you.


For Information on purchasing the book, go to this website:  Disc copies of the film available, at cost plus shipping, and if interested, please contact:

If YOU have resources to share with the Parenting with ACEs community, or ideas, writing, seminars, plans, etc. please feel free to do so via a blog post of your own. ALL ARE WELCOME TO POST HERE. If you prefer to have me share, via a post, (like this one), please send me an email or leave a comment. 


Images (6)
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  • a quilt and a home
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