A range of conditions and events can cause ACEs—household dysfunction, bullying, discrimination, even accidents. A great deal of trauma happens in the home. Primary Prevention, therefore, must start in the home. Unfortunately, parents are stressed and under-supported, and may not always have access to resources that would help.
The enormous changes to society during the last half century have eroded traditional opportunities for connection and cooperation that build resilience. As a grandmother of three adult children in their fifties, and an author and professional speaker who has reached thousands of parents over thirty-five years, I can see how urgently parents need guidance and support.
My new book is the thirty-fifth anniversary edition of The Winning Family, subtitled: Where No One has to Lose. A major focus is the landmark research by Vincent Felitti about adverse childhood experiences. Hearing him speak long ago was earth-shaking for me; the research illuminated what I had been doing as a young mother—and validated my life work of helping parents change intergenerational patterns. My work has always focused on avoiding (adverse childhood experiences) ACEs, and creating positive experiences (PACEs).
This new edition of The Winning Family was written with my daughter, who I raised while I transformed my parenting approach, and is now certified in positive psychology. Together we updated the previous bestselling version, subtitled: Increasing Self-Esteem in Your Children and Yourself. That accessible and life-changing book was praised by readers as “my second bible”. This new version also addresses the cultural changes that have stretched and stressed families to the breaking points of disconnection and dysfunction. These changes have distracted parents from the most important work of a culture: raising healthy children. In our book we help parents redefine what success means for them, and give them tools to achieve it.
Yes, it’s hard for parents who are overwhelmed with working outside the home, economic pressures, and a materialistic culture that focuses on competition and wealth. When the family is unable to fill the primal needs for attachment and nurturing, brain development is affected. We need to refocus on the key human values of respect, connection, and cooperation.
We ask our PACEs community to help us broaden our reach to parents and others involved in caring for children, and those helping them at all levels of prevention to interrupt negative patterns. Let us know if you would like more information. The Winning Family is available wherever books are sold. We do discounts on occasion, which you can learn about by subscribing to our mailing list at www.upliftpress.com.
Louise Hart has a doctorate in Community Psychology. Kristen Caven is a positive parenting educator. We are available for keynotes at Zoom conferences.