The Heart of the Matter


Now that you’ve watched Paper Tigers, what can you do today to build resiliency?
Resilience can be developed at all ages! We just need to take the time to practice strategies that work. There are “internal” and “external” factors to be aware of:


Build Connections.

Our social connections are so important too! Seek out people who you know, who like you and who smile at you, and you smile back, laugh daily, smile at others, use positive intent (I wish you well!) even when someone has just cut you off. Maybe they are truly in the midst of a crisis we can’t see.  Say something positive the next time you are in the check-out line, or smile at someone as you are passing by. That one moment of exchange is powerful. Share your smile! You may be the only person that day who reaches out to that person. What a gift. We now know that nurturance is reparative and restorative, building new neural pathways.

Build external supports, people that help you, move you forward, who you can trust, so you can say: I HAVE my support system. Build internal strengths, so you can say I AM a person of value. And build the social and personal skills that say I CAN solve problems, be creative and manage my stress in positive ways.

Higher resilience is what heals, mitigates, and transforms the brain and the impact of adversity. Resilience can continue to be built by increasing each component in our lives. Resilience is self-healing and resilience trumps (buffers) ACEs. We’re all in this together. Help strengthen your personal resilience, your family’s, and your community’s. It’s the Heart of the Matter.

Make Choices That Are Good for You: Practice Emotional Awareness

When you care for yourself, you are better able to care for others. Do what you enjoy most: take time for yourself, walk or exercise regularly (grab a friend or family member too), color, read, play, drink plenty of water, add those fruits and veggies to your diet – JUST DO IT daily! You are the most important person and deserve this more than anyone else!

Regulate Your Own Emotions!

Check out where you are in regulating your own emotions. One idea- set your watch/phone to beep hourly, and check to see what emotional state you are in, and take 3 deep breaths! Relax and be in the moment. That only takes a minute, but sets the stage for the remaining 59 minutes of the next hour! Notice when you feel yourself getting upset and think why that is happening, are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Find your safe zone. Take a moment to fix what is happening internally. Your child/spouse/pet/other will benefit when you are able to recognize and manage your own calm. Claim your calm!

Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

As you get out of bed and throughout your day, take a moment to feel what it feels like when you are in a moment of gratefulness. Bringing gratitude into your conscious mind can offset stress chemicals on the spot! Be conscious of your thoughts, and build on the positive energy that comes from this simple practice. This also builds your brain power!

Want to dig a bit deeper? Download the questionnaire below, which addresses resilience and allows your reflection on core concepts.

Download Questionnaire

Guide Blocks

Resilience: The Facilitator’s Guide to RESILIENCE

Strategies to Build Resilience


Paper Tigers Faith Leaders Guide

What Faith Communities Can Do


Paper Tigers Impact Report

View the educational, social and community impact of Paper Tigers over it’s first year!


According to research about childhood trauma, all of the risk factors for adverse experiences can be offset by one thing:  the presence of a stable, caring adult in a child’s life.

– Paper Tigers (1:09)

“Scientific research points to the presence of a stable, caring adult in a child’s life as the key to building the skills of resilience.”



ACES Connection

ACEs Connection is a social network that accelerates the global movement toward recognizing the impact of adverse childhood experiences in shaping adult behavior and health, and reforming all communities and institutions — from schools to prisons to hospitals and churches — to help heal and develop resilience rather than to continue to traumatize already traumatized people.

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California Endowment

The California Endowment’s mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.

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Center For Youth Wellness – Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Led by founder and CEO Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, we are a health organization within a pediatric home that serves children and families in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco. We were created to respond to an urgent public health issue: early adversity harms the developing brains and bodies of children.

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CDC – Center for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

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Clifford Beers

Childhood trauma — abuse, neglect, domestic violence, mental illness — doesn’t come and go.  It stays.  And stays. If left unaddressed it can cause problems that affect the child.  Later, it can affect the adult that child becomes.

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Dr. Ken Ginsburg-Fostering Resilience

Dr. Ginsburg is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

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Dr. Robert Anda

This site provides information about my services to the community of people who wish to learn more about CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Study or are implementing — or thinking of implementing — the ideas and concepts that the ACE Study brought to light.

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Harvard University – Center on the Developing Child

We believe that advances in science provide a powerful source of new ideas focused on the early years of life. Founded in 2006, the Center catalyzes local, national, and international innovation in policy and practice focused on children and families

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National Resilience Institute

The Institute began its work in 2011 as the Community Resiliency Project in response to the town of Mount Vernon, Iowa, losing three teens to suicide within six months. Under the direction of Mollie Marti, a local psychologist and resilience researcher, the Project utilized the THRIVE Model of Resilience and developed evidence-based tools to help communities recover from trauma and develop positive norms of hope, help seeking, and wholeness.

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Prevent Child Abuse America

Here you’ll find links to download and print the handouts you saw as samples while attending a screening of Paper Tigers sponsored by the Prevent Child Abuse America chapter in your state.

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