HOPE: Shifting Narratives through Positive Childhood Experiences
Posted on 01/25/2024
Blog thumbnail HOPEHOPE (Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences) aims to shift the narrative and focus on the Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) as they can ease toxic stress and help children and youth grow into more resilient, healthier adults. It has been shown that higher PCEs are associated with higher educational attainment & income, lower substance use, and better overall health. PCEs protect children who have had Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and allow for the child and families to be seen for their whole human experience, not just their adversities. HOPE uses its four building blocks to identify ways to ensure that all children and families have support to nurture and celebrate their strengths. 

The four building blocks: 




Emotional Growth

When talking about Relationships, this building block emphasizes the importance of nurturing supportive relationships children make with parents, caregivers, adults, and other children through interpersonal activities. This is critically important for kids as it helps with healthy brain development and brain connections.  

The Environment building block consists of making sure all children are in safe, stable, protective, and equitable environments. This includes having safe housing, nutritious meals, access to education and health care, as well as safe areas to play and build these crucial relationships.  

The Engagement building block focuses on making sure that children feel like they belong or matter. This could be them joining the school’s science fair, joining an extracurricular activity like sports or art, or having family and cultural traditions.  

The Emotional Growth building block involves children constructively navigating adversity and challenges. This is crucial for developing appropriate communication skills. An example of this could be through unstructured play, or children disagreeing with one another and developing self-regulation of behavior and emotions.


As we find ourselves at the midpoint of the school year, it's essential to take a moment to reflect on the incredible journey you and your child have embarked on together. At this point your child has made friends and figured out what subject is their favorite and which others aren’t quite amusing. But it’s important to also notice that your commitment to fostering a positive learning environment at home has not gone unnoticed. Your encouragement, whether it's through helping with homework, attending school events or extracurricular activities, or simply being a source of comfort, plays a pivotal role in your child’s future success. As we continue this educational journey let's continue to carry the momentum of positivity and engagement with your children. Ask about the “nothings” they say their day was full of, as they are great accomplishments, challenges they ran into, and milestones in development.  

Discover additional information about The Community of HOPE Coalition, a public service provided by BFHD.

Poem "Nothing" A Poem For Parents

Check out these resources and keep up the great parenting! 

The 4 Building Blocks of HOPE

10 Ways to Promote PCEs