By Lynn Miller, Certified ALWF, WRAP Associate

Happy spring, WRAP community (or happy winter to our Southern Hemisphere WRAPers).

With the arrival of spring, I find myself reflecting on the tangible renewal the season offers.

As I see flowers bloom, feel the warmer air, and hear the birds singing, I feel inspired to also reflect on, refresh, and revitalize my WRAP.

What can you do this spring to update your daily plan and add to your wellness toolbox? I challenge you to take time to reflect on the key concepts of WRAP and what they mean in your life as you refresh your plan.

This spring, I’m taking personal inventory of how I am applying the key concepts of WRAP in my life, beginning each day with finding what gives me hope.

As I reflect on my WRAP, I’m also reflecting on my life and everything that’s happening in the world. I find myself digging deep into my wellness toolbox to maintain a peaceful and positive mindset because of so many troubling current world events.

A little about my story: I grew up in a South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania neighborhood where everyone knew and helped each other. It really was the “city of brotherly love.” Sure, there were challenges, as with any urban neighborhood. But we knew that, in times of need, we would support each other. There was a sense of being cocooned, because we cared about one another and looked out for each other.

Although I no longer live in South Philly, I still love and hold true to my neighborhood culture and the values I was raised on. What does this have to do with WRAP? Well, it has to do with how we are protecting—or not protecting—the children of this world.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month here in the United States, and child abuse is sadly a problem worldwide. I recently attended an event at the Pennsylvania State Capitol where advocates gathered in support of preventing child abuse and neglect.  

As I listened to individuals speak about their personal experience, I realized how resilient they were and what incredible courage they had to stand before a large crowd and share their stories of pain from childhood abuse and neglect. 

It struck me that throughout such painful experiences, the key concepts of WRAP seemed to stand out in their stories. These survivors held on to hope, they took personal responsibility to pursue education and seek support, and the very fact that they were standing before others demonstrated self-advocacy and willingness to be a voice for all children and an advocate to foster change toward ending child abuse. 

As someone who has experienced childhood trauma, I lost my voice and believed I needed to stay silent. Like many children, I thought the events that occurred were my fault. It wasn’t until I was introduced to WRAP that I understood the effects of my experiences and how I could heal and grow. 

As an Advanced Level Certified WRAP Facilitator (ALWF), I’ve had countless opportunities to co-facilitate WRAP seminars. I’ve met so many people who have also experienced childhood trauma, and one message I hear consistently from participants at WRAP seminars is that they wish they’d had WRAP when they were growing up. 

Raising my own children, I experienced constant stress, as so many parents do. In trying to meet the demands of being a parent, teacher, employee, friend, family member, and more, I never seemed to find the time to honor myself and take care of my own wellness. As caregivers, we often put the needs of others before ourselves, leading to stress reactions that affect the entire family.  

Many parents and caregivers are experiencing multiple life stressors, including their own personal traumas, health concerns, relationship challenges, substance use, financial burdens, neighborhood violence, and more. 

During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, not only can we renew our own WRAP, but we can also offer the gift of WRAP to others. WRAP can be the tool to build a stronger family unit and increase resiliency. We’ve all heard the saying that “it takes a village” to raise a child. It also takes a village to support the families and caregivers of our children and youth. 

With the increasing stressors and violence we see and hear about almost daily and the impact these events have on our own emotional well-being, it’s so important to consider not only what each of us can do to prevent child abuse and neglect, but also to support our fellow community members. 

We can introduce WRAP to parents, neighbors, colleagues, teachers, and other members of our community and be a role model for how WRAP can enhance their lives. 

WRAP Facilitators can bring the community together and offer the gift of WRAP—and, collectively, we can play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect and strengthen the support system for those providing care to our children and youth.