Right now, kids desperately need a strong village of parents, educators, friends and neighbors surrounding them.
This pandemic has forced children to unexpectedly give up the joy of playing at their friends’ houses, participating in sports or visiting with a beloved grandparent. From what felt like one moment to the next, household living rooms were transformed into virtual classrooms, and dining room tables were taken over by piles of worksheets and textbooks. Huge milestones for teens, such as graduating high school or attending prom, were either cancelled or re-envisioned in light of social distancing guidelines. Without warning all of the difficult changes that happened this year can be easily considered trauma, and kids cannot heal from it on their own. The 4KIDS EPIC Therapeutic Approach equips parents and caregivers to help kids process this kind of grief and frustration, which may be coming out in their behaviors.
A therapeutic approach
In 2016, 4KIDS created The EPIC Therapeutic Approach as a practical tool to further the vision of providing hope for children in crisis. EPIC is an acronym that stands for the Emotional, Physical, Intellectual and Character-based needs of kids. The foundational scripture for EPIC is Luke 2:52, where the Bible says that, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and with man.” While EPIC was created primarily to reach kids in foster care, most of whom have experienced some form of trauma — any child can benefit from growing in these four areas. EPIC teaches parents and caregivers how to teach and guide kids using the power of a trust-based relationship.
To make this valuable insight available to the community, 4KIDS hosts a monthly training free of charge to anyone interested in learning the EPIC Therapeutic Approach. This training is jam-packed with evidence-based practices, relevant examples and biblical content. As one adoptive parent shared, “Taking the EPIC Training reminded me how important it is for my kids to be heard and to be more forgiving with them.” For the foreseeable future, all EPIC Trainings will occur virtually over two days. To view upcoming dates and to register, visit 4KIDS.us/EPIC/Training.
In addition to the full-length training, 4KIDS Clinical Team has also made easy-to-use EPIC content available through various online resources. Over the last few months, they have created short, engaging videos that help parents and caregivers discover simple ways to apply EPIC into their family’s day-to-day lives. To get complete access to these videos, along with downloadable tip sheets and blog posts, visit 4KIDS.us/EPIC/ParentResources. All of these incredible resources are free and created by 4KIDS’ team of trained and licensed therapists, who are uniquely equipped to provide incredible, professional insight on trauma through a Christian lens.
Invest in kids
With everything going on in our world, there’s no better time to invest in yourself and redefine the way that you connect with kids. On top of equipping parents, EPIC can help anyone from a church youth leader to a devoted aunt forge healthy connections with kids and create a safe space for the next generation. Now more than ever, kids need trusted adults in their corner who can teach them how to be resilient in the face of uncertainty. It is 4KIDS’ desire that through EPIC, together, we can bring hope, homes, and healing to kids everywhere.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6