(Pictured above: A wise girl and her best friend)
October 8, 2020| By: Lori Chelius MBA/MPH
“So I want to get this straight…in our family, when something gets tough, we just give it away?”
That’s what Jill Stamm’s daughter, who was six years old at the time, asked her parents after they concluded they would have to find another home for their rambunctious puppy who was destroying furniture and eating everything in sight.
Stamm was stunned. That was not a value she embraced at all. In fact, with another older daughter with multiple handicaps, she deeply understood the importance of commitment and love, even when things are hard.
Out of the mouth of babes.
That question changed everything. It led to a very explicit value in Stamm’s family that has even passed along to her grandkids (her daughter is now a parent herself): “We don’t turn away from tough stuff. We face things head on.”
In a recent webinar hosted by Origins– “A Trauma-Informed Approach: Three Myths Busted”–we explored the critical role of values in building and sustaining a healing culture. Stamm, who is the Prevention and Brain Science Specialist at Arizona’s Children Association and co-founder of New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development, shared how the value of not turning away when things get tough became a bedrock for her family across generations. It influenced her in many ways in both her personal and professional life and even contributed to going back to complete her PhD at age 50.
One definition of culture is a “set of shared attitudes, values, goals, or practices that characterize an institution or organization.” All organizations, communities, and families have a culture, whether it has been created intentionally or not. Part of being intentional is articulating these values that really underlie your culture. The puppy incident led Stamm to make explicit a value that was already implicit in her family.
In our training and consulting packages, we explore the critical role of culture in implementing a trauma-informed approach and provide tools to help you intentionally develop the culture in your own unique setting. If you are passionate about this work, you can be a resilience champion and we can support you in the process of integrating a trauma-informed approach into your organization or community. Translate and operationalize the key concepts of a trauma-informed approach to meet the needs of your unique organization. Contact us today and we can get you started on this journey starting with developing a shared foundation, moving into identifying specific goals, and defining concrete steps to create and sustain a resilient culture.
(And, by the way, the puppy stayed).