10 Ways for Families to Foster Hope

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  1. Remember, children learn from what we do, not what we say.
  2. Listen and validate your child's fears and concerns to better understand how and/or which hope strategies might be appropriate.
  3. Create a hope kit for the family - a box or place into which you can put hopeful stories, articles, pictures, experiences, etc.
  4. Use the hope language of "yet" and "when". Instead of saying “no,” why not say, “it may be possible, but not yet” – and provide some alternative date or occurrence that will have to happen for a positive outcome to take effect. Instead of saying “no,” try saying something like “when this happens, then we’ll be able to ....” – giving your family a sense of hope and reason to be positive about the future
  5. Look for hopeful signs in the community.
  6. Share stories from your child's past to remember strategies he/she used to help in a fearful, stressful, or problem situation.
  7. Do something to help someone in need.
  8. Find ways to exercise and have fun at the same time.
  9. Schedule time together where you are both forced to concentrate on learning or participating in a new activity or old activity that you both enjoy.
  10. Plan ways to celebrate small accomplishments together and with family and friends.

Adapted by Personal Safety Nets® from 10 Ways for Parents to Remain Hopeful, The Hope Foundation, 2005.