top of page
thriving family alliance pic2.png

Positive Childhood Experiences

Studies have reported it may be more detrimental to not experience Positive Childhood Experiences than to experience Adverse Childhood Experiences (Crandall, A. A., Broadbent, E., Stanfill, M., Magnusson, B. M., Novilla, M. L., Hanson, C. L., & Barnes, M. D. (2020).  Research shows that positive childhood experiences (PCEs) drive healthy development and lessen the effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).  PCEs allow children to form strong relationships and meaningful connections, cultivate positive self-image and self-worth, experience a sense of belonging, and build skills to cope with stress in healthy ways. The Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences (HOPE) Framework of the Four Building Blocks promotes PCEs that help children grow into healthy, resilient adults.  PCEs in these four areas can protect against long-term health outcomes associated with ACEs, and the HOPE National Resource Center wants to help increase access to these opportunities for all children and families.


Nurturing and supportive relationships are essential for children to become healthy, resilient adults. These positive relationships are one of the top ways to buffer the effects of trauma.  Children who experience positive relationships and experiences are less likely to be diagnosed with depression or poor mental health as an adult. 


Positive relationships look like:

  • Parents responding to their children's needs with warm responses.  

  • Other adults outside of the family supporting the growth and development of a child. 

  • Positive relationships with peers that are healthy and close.  ​


Here are a few ways community members can help promote positive relationships:

  1. Be a caring adult for the children around you

  2. Become a mentor or coach 

  3. Share information about activities in your community that would offer opportunities for positive relationships.

  4.  Talk to the children in your community to discover their passions and plans for the future.  


It takes a village to build healthy, resilient adults.  The more positive relationships a child has, the greater the chance they are being set up for success.


Untitled design (16).png
Engagement and Environments

Children need to have a safe space to grow as well as opportunities to feel connected to their community.  Having safe environments helps to decrease the risk of poor mental and physical health as adults.  Having a safe environment means basic needs are being met, having a nurturing home, a school that values students and offers high-quality education, and a space to play and engage with other children.


Having a safe environment and opportunities to connect within the community looks like:

  • Basic needs are being met

  • Having a nurturing home environment

  • Attending a school that offers high-quality education and values the students

  • Safe spaces to play and engage with other children

  • Being involved in extracurricular activities, youth organizations, and community service opportunities

  • Participating in community, cultural, and family traditions​


Here are some ways community members can help create safe environments and opportunities for children and families to feel connected.  

  1. Ensuring schools are safe spaces

  2. Listen to children when they talk

  3. Make sure there are safe spaces for children to play outside

  4. Make sure there are activities for all children to be involved in and help them get connected.

  5. Provide opportunities for families to serve their community together.

  6. Help families connect to organizations that can help meet their basic needs. 

Untitled design (15).png
Opportunities for growth

Having good emotional skills is essential to being resilient.  Children need opportunities to engage with others in order to develop self-awareness, social cognition, and self-regulation skills.  Children can often begin building these skills independently but still need adult guidance.  Adults can both model and teach these skills. 


What does it look like to have good social and emotional skills:

  • Being able to regulate emotions

  • Having the ability to address challenges in a healthy way

  • Having good interpersonal and communication skills


As a community member, you can help children build their social and emotional skills by:

  1. Help children name and talk about their emotions

  2. Teaching children and modeling how to disagree respectively

  3. Implementing social-emotional curricula in the schools

  4. Providing opportunities for open play

  5. Teach mindfulness and growth mindset 

Untitled design (18).png
bottom of page