Stress and Resilience Part 2: Parent-Child Relationships as a Buffer to Stress

How do you know when your baby or young child is experiencing ongoing stress? In what ways does the way you manage your own stress affect how your child learns to handle stress and build resilience? And, how does the parent-infant relationship buffer stress?


This episode of Mom Enough® is the second of a 3-part series on Stress and Resilience, brought to you by St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development. Therapist and Senior Program Director Paula Frisk highlights the importance of the early parent-infant relationship as both a buffer against toxic stress and a powerful means by which young children learn to regulate emotions and reflect on their own feelings and actions. In her conversation with Marti & Erin, Paula addresses causes of infant stress, ways babies and young children show their stress, and how parents’ own reflective capacity and mindfulness help children develop the same. Of course, to provide reflective, mindful care, parents need support for themselves — from family, community and society as a whole, including acknowledgement of how important the often-challenging job of parenting is, not only for our children but for the health and wellbeing of society.



In this episode of Mom Enough®, therapist Paula Frisk encourages us to “get curious about the meaning of” our child’s behavior and our own. Reflect for a moment on a recent difficult interaction with your baby or young child. Describe your child’s behavior and your own in this situation and note what you think each of your behavior meant. If you encountered a similarly challenging situation tomorrow, what could you do differently that would be more helpful to your child and yourself?



STRESS & RESILIENCE: NURTURING HEALTHY EMOTIONAL RESPONSES IN CHILDREN AND PARENTS, PART 1 OF 2. Melissa Williams, therapist and program director at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development, joins Marti & Erin for this first podcast of a three-part series that will help you learn how stress affects your child and you. Melissa discusses the stress response in children, toxic stress and its effect on children’s development, and how we can respond to the effects of toxic stress.


FROM CO-REGULATION TO SELF-REGULATION: PARENT-CHILD INTERACTIONS THAT PREPARE OUR CHILDREN FOR LIFE. Tune into the first episode of our previous series on self-regulation with Melissa Williams from St. David’s Center. This engaging and practical discussion highlights what is involved in co-regulation, with an emphasis on how to show, tell and practice together with our children. Melissa also highlights the importance of “rupture and repair,” describing how we can admit our mistakes at those times when we get it wrong with our kids (as we all do!), say we are sorry and tell our child what we will try to do differently the next time.


❉ DISCOVERING WHAT WILL HELP YOUR CHILD DEVELOP SELF-REGULATION SKILLS: DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS. One of the major developmental tasks in early childhood is self-regulation, which includes establishing healthy patterns of eating, sleeping and other routines. Even as older children and adults, we struggle with regulation at times, which can disrupt learning, relationships and other aspects of our lives. Robin Campbell and Cheryl Lundsgaard from St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, shed light on what self-regulation means, how we can help our children become self-regulated, and how important it is to discover what works best for each unique member of our family.

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