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Parenting in today’s troubled world is challenging for the entire family. Families and teens are faced with complex situations each day that must be handled carefully and with strength. One of the six characteristics of a strong family which will be emphasized by EMPOWER Porter County’s Around the Table project is resilience.

During the coming month Around the Table articles and events will focus on the importance of resilience, both individually and as a family. Resilience is characterized by an ability to cope with and recover from trying situations. Children and adolescents need to develop skills to help them build their own resilience in dealing with the challenges they face each day. Parents should strive to be good role models for their children. The Mayo Clinic offers the following tips to improve your resilience:

Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Establish other important connections by volunteering or joining a faith or spiritual community.

Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.

Learn from experience. Think of how you've coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify positive and negative behavior patterns — and guide your future behavior.

Remain hopeful. You can't change the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.

Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer.

Be proactive. Don't ignore your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you work at it.

More information can be found at www.mayoclinic.org

This article is part of the ongoing “EMPOWERING families” series from EMPOWER Porter County’s Around the Table project.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Kaye Frataccia, Around the Table, Program Manager

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Community Coordinator

Annette is Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for two decades. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.