Yesterday I wrote about cracking my phone screen on Saturday (Cracked – https://thewannabesaint.com/2018/10/28/cracked-3/). Today, however, I discovered I didn’t crack my screen at all it was the screen protector that cracked like a spider web on top of the screen. The screen protector did its job, was a worthy investment, and the next Verizon store I come across I’ll be buying another one!
It was a shock to see the screen protector was damaged and not the actual phone screen. It reminded me of attending a week-long seminar about the importance of raising children, being raised ourselves, and living presently in a safe, nurturing, environment. The woman who taught the class, named Michelle, said that all of us, especially babies and young children, need the protection, the shield, of a parent’s love, a welcoming and supportive home, other people in our lives who will affirm our worth.
These essentials are protective layers that wrap around us and teach us how to be resilient. When tough times come, and they always do, our layers will help us have the strength to meet challenges and difficulties head on without lasting damage being done to our core selves.
This morning one of my lectures at a rehabilitation clinic was double booked which gave me a free hour until it was time for the second lecture. I needed to pick up a few items at a store so I decided this was a good time. I parked and went inside. Entering the store, through sliding glass doors, an employee was crossing in front of the doors and underestimated how much time she had until we occupied the same space. When it became obvious we were headed to a collision course we altered our current paths. We side-stepped each other and when we did a case for glasses the employee was carrying dropped from her hand and went bouncing on the floor. “Excuse me. I’m sorry.” I said. She replied it was ok and picked up her case. “Good thing you had that case!” I chirped “It sure was!” she said smiling and we parted ways.
Walking through the store and collecting the items on my mental shopping list I thought about the employee and her glasses case. One of the phrases I use when speaking to groups about healthy children and families is called; “Protective Factors.”
Protective factors are conditions or attributes in individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that, when present, mitigate or eliminate risk in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families. (https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=protective%20factors)
Protective Factors shape the way we see the world, dictate a lot of our behaviors and coping abilities. The fewer protective factors the more hostile the world looks and this shapes our lives, who we are, in the deepest part of us.
The second lecture went well. Part of my presentation is to ask; “How many of the attendees come from families where drugs and alcohol were abused, physical violence, negligence, abandonment was part of their childhood?” It’s always humbling to see how many raise their hands. We then talk about how our past can determine the way we see the world, how we think and make decisions in the present. I spend the rest of the lecture, hopefully, helping them see how to begin to build protective factors into their and their family’s lives.