Science of Relationships: The Prevention Connection

CONCORD - On Monday, March 30, 2015, NH Children's Trust hosted about 215 guests at their 4th-annual Strengthening Families Summit. State and national child and family experts joined forces to explore social and emotional competence of children in 2015.

Attendees from New Hampshire and beyond explored the power of relationships by building children’s ability to regulate their emotions, communicate clearly, establish and maintain relationships with others as they engage in problem solving and conflict resolution.

The day began on a high note with a keynote address by Dr. Tamar Jacobson enlightening summit-goers with her speech entitled, "Don't Get So Upset!" Help Young Children Manage Their Feelings by Understanding Your Own. This presentation challenged attendees to reflect on their own emotional histories and find strategies for responding to children in ways that support their emotional health and development. 

As the day continued, conference-goers were encouraged to finish the sentence "I strengthen families because..." Then, they were asked to take a photo with their answer written in permanent marker on a sheet of paper.

"We hope to use the photos to edit together a slide show to show New Hampshire parents and families there are so many people who care about them. These are only a fraction of the people they can turn to when they need help," said NH Children's Trust Communications Coordinator, Janine Mitchell.

Each year, NH Children’s Trust hosts about 200 attendees at the Grappone Conference Center for the Strengthening Families Summit. This year’s summit, The Science of Relationships: The Prevention Connection, was the most well attended of all 4 years with discussion focused on social and emotional needs of children. The Strengthening Families Summit brings the latest knowledge and strategies for building strong children. The content included the latest brain science and the importance of relationships during a young child’s life.

Anyone who works with children and/or families is encouraged to attend the yearly conference. This includes but is not limited to childcare providers, home visitors, social workers, school employees, medical care providers judges, lawyers, law enforcement.  Workshop presenters this year were local and national leaders who discussed how strong social and emotional skills prepare children for lifelong success.

This conference topic is of national interest.  New Hampshire is one of many states taking on this tough topic. The subject highlights one of the five Protective Factors of the Strengthening Families Framework, an evidence-based framework that prevents child abuse and neglect by helping families see their strengths. 

2015 Attendees will improve their work with children & families by:

  • "...making more room for children to sit with their feelings and not try so much to distract or "fix" their feelings."

  • "..changing some of my language."

  • "...helping teach children to become more empathetic and modeling empathy for parents and children."

  • "...making more room for children to sit with their feelings and not try so much to distract or "fix" their feelings."

  • "...being more aware of the long-term effects of emotional memory and the fact that 90% of a child's brain is developed by age 4."

  • "...being more aware of my own attitude and reactions."

  • "...allowing silence in a conversation."

  • "...remembering stress learned at a young age is how we will respond to stressful situations in the future as an adult."

Unable to attend The Summit this year or need a refresher?

I strengthen families because...

Photo slideshow

Thank you to our 2015 Program Sponsors!