To the parents in my practice,
None of us grew up in a perfect family. Some of us, however, grew up in very dysfunctional or unsafe homes. As your pediatrician, it is helpful for me to know specifically what you experienced while growing up. It helps me to better think about how to support your own parenting skills through what might be challenging times or experiences. For example, if you grew up in a household where you did not have enough to eat, will that
make it harder to know how much your child should eat at any given age? If you were physically abused as a child, how will you feel or react when your toddler hits you out of frustration or anger?
AND, it is also very important to know that an unsafe or dysfunctional home is only part of anyone’s story. We also know that resilience, the ability to ‘bounce back’, is just as important as adversity.
On the reverse side of this letter is a questionnaire asking about your own Adverse Childhood Experiences
(ACEs) followed by a questionnaire about resilience. Thank you for sharing this information with me. Your personal information will be kept confidential. We will track overall information obtained in order to make decisions about services to offer within the clinic.
For more information about ACEs and the importance of resilience, the following websites may be helpful:
Drs. Gillespie, Lacey, Pettersen, Pereira, Puterbaugh, Reynolds, Rosborough, Thompson.