Compassion Resilience Toolkit For Parents and Caregivers

What is Compassion Resilience?

Parenting and caregiving are both rewarding and challenging and there is no recipe or guidebook.

Our compassion resilience work began with individuals, primarily in schools, healthcare settings and youth-serving organizations. Teachers and nurses would come up to us afterwards and share how helpful this was not only in their professional lives, but for them as parents and caregivers. This feedback from the community prompted us to develop the parent and caregiver compassion resilience toolkit. The content of the toolkit has been strongly informed by research and best practices related to resilience, positive psychology, compassion fatigue, family development, and mindfulness. Parent advocates, family specialists, and child educators worked with us to shape this toolkit and to pilot it with multiple groups of parents and caregivers. These pilots reinforced what we had been hearing – that indeed parents and caregivers want to explore the topics herein together!

What is Compassion Resilience?

Compassion is the combination of the consciousness of others’ distress and a desire to alleviate it. It is a basic quality needed to best support the needs of our children and family. Resilience is the ability to recover and continue in the face of adversity without being overwhelmed or acting in dysfunctional ways. If our goal is to lessen our child’s distress while maintaining our well-being, we can seek to grow our compassion resilience.

Simply, compassion resilience, is the ability to maintain our physical, emotional, and mental well-being while responding compassionately to people who are suffering.
Compassion resilience for parents and caregivers is:
  1. Caring for ourselves while acting with compassion in interactions with children, family members, and those we count on to support us;
  2. Practicing skills to effectively engage in compassionate action with and towards children, family members, and those we count on to support us;
  3. Identifying, preventing, and minimizing compassion fatigue within ourselves.
Think of this resilience as a reservoir of well-being that we can draw upon on difficult days and in difficult situations. It is a dynamic process or outcome that is the result of interaction over time between a person and their environment (e.g., Bobek, 2002; Day, 2008; Sumsion, 2003; Tait, 2008).

This toolkit will explore the protective factors that build and maintain compassion resilience for parents and caregivers.


Create a new account or login for full access.