Caring Adults Matter
Get inspired!-Caring adults matter
The Caring adults matter campaign aims to inspire adults in simple ways and promote well-being, resiliency, and a flourishing life for children and youth. The campaign offers practical ideas for adults to try, ideas that can reduce the likelihood of risky behaviours among children and youth and have a positive impact on their emotional health and well-being.
Why do Caring adults matter?
Caring adults play an important role in the lives of children and youth. Science now tells us that the reliable presence of at least one supportive relationship and multiple opportunities for developing coping skills are essential building blocks for the capacity to do well when facing life’s challenges (Center on the Developing Child – Harvard University, PDF). Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, coach, youth worker, or other caring adult, you can have a powerful impact on the children and youth in your life.
What is the Caring adults matter campaign?
The Caring adults matter campaign is a series of messages communicated around Sudbury and districts in print and on radio and social media. Each concept in the campaign encourages adults to take a specific action that show a positive outcome for children or youth. The ideas are simple, yet impactful.
What are the key messages of the Caring adults matter campaign?
When you spend time with me, I feel accepted.
Caring adults who spend quality time with children create a positive impact on their emotional and social well-being.
Studies show that families who often spend time together and create “moments that matter ” result in children who are less likely to engage in risky behaviours. Children are also more likely to develop strong emotional attachments, feel good about themselves and flourish.
Try going for a family outing, playing a game, or cooking together. The ideas are endless. Be fully engaged and create meaningful memories with the children and youth in your life.
When you listen with your eyes, I feel valued.
Did you know that eye contact is an important form of communication and helps to build relationships?
Making eye contact creates a connection, builds trust, increases empathy, and shows that you are attentive.
Being attentive to children and youth shows that we value what they have to say. It also helps build self-worth and self-confidence. Other nonverbal forms of communication like being physically present or the use of touch shows you care.
When you show me empathy, I can show empathy.
What is empathy?
Empathy is understanding another person’s emotions or experiences from their point of view.
When you show empathy and acknowledge a child’s emotions, he/she feel understood and will be more likely to develop that skill. This will also help them to develop emotional intelligence.
To help children and youth identify and handle their emotions, lead by example. Show empathy to a child or youth today by being present, listening actively and validating feelings.
When you see the positive in me, I feel confident.
When caring adults focus on the positive, it builds confidence. This helps children and youth to feel valued, safe and like they belong.
Make it a regular practice to notice what’s “right” with the children and youth in your life. Look for and tell them about the strengths you notice in them. Such as, “I see you started cleaning the kitchen, this is very kind of you”. Encourage them to use their strengths often.
When you encourage me, I see my potential.
Did you know that children are more likely to repeat behaviours that earn them a positive response or some encouragement? This is the concept of positive reinforcement.
Give a word of encouragement to a child or youth today! For example, say “I know you’ve got what it takes” to foster a stronger connection and help them to see their potential.
When you are positive with me, I feel hopeful.
Bravery, creativity, curiosity, leadership, kindness.
These are a few examples of character strengths, which are important parts of our personality. Each one of us has all 24 character strengths in varying degrees. To discover your top character strengths, visit: https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths.
Caring adults who shift their thinking from what’s wrong to what’s strong, can help children and youth feel hopeful.
Connect with the children and youth in your life, by drawing upon their character strengths and grow their sense of hope.
When you encourage me, I feel empowered.
Did you know that children and youth who receive encouragement tend to take joy in their tasks?
The way we encourage, or praise children and youth can really impact their thinking, confidence and motivation.
People find purpose when they pursue a goal, rather than once they’ve reached their goal. When caring adults encourage the efforts of children and youth who are in the process of reaching a goal, they offer a boost to help them keep going. Saying “I noticed that you figured it out” or “you didn’t give up” highlights the effort.
Praise the process, not just the result.
When you believe in me, I believe in myself.
When caring adults support children and youth in their challenges, they promote competence. Putting them in charge of something they’re good at will also increase their competence.
Children and youth who see themselves as competent feel capable and powerful. They are more likely to believe in themselves, attempt challenges, and be resourceful and resilient. Believe in the children and youth in your life by helping to build their competence. In turn, they will believe in themselves, too.
When you notice my strengths, I see them too.
What makes a child or youth unique? Everyone has strengths and characteristics that makes them distinct.
Caring adults are important influencers that can build those strengths and characteristics. Acknowledging strengths helps to build confidence. You can help build confidence in children and youth by having them tackle manageable challenges, with your help. This is called scaffolding, which also teaches that help is always there if needed.
When you connect with me, I can flourish!
Do you want your child or youth to flourish?
Create strong bonds with children and youth through connections and meaningful relationships. This is a key component to flourishing. When supported by caring and predictable relationships, individuals feel connected, safe, and valued.
Connect with the young people in your life by acknowledging their strengths and being fully present with them. When we focus on strengths instead of deficits, we increase the likelihood of personal, academic, and life success.
As this campaign comes to an end, continue to spend quality time, encourage, notice the strengths, show empathy, be present, be positive and foster meaningful connections among children and youth!
Remember, you need to nourish to flourish.
Where do the concepts for this campaign originate?
Concepts for the Caring adults matter campaign were inspired by the Flourishing Life Framework, the work of psychologist, Wayne Hammond, PhD. For more, visit the Flourishing Life website.
Download the posters