Family Advocacy promotes self-love Published April 18, 2018 By Kayla Varga, 48th Medical Operations Squadron 48th Fighter Wing Family Advocacy Program ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- The U.S. recognizes April as Child Abuse Prevention Month since the official presidential proclamation of the national campaign in 1983. Royal Air Force Lakenheath and Mildenhall Family Advocacy Program office aims to utilize a positive psychology approach when creating our program initiatives and community events. Positive psychology is the study of individual strengths that allow people to thrive in order to lead meaningful lives and capitalize on what is best about them. Time and time again, research has shown that learning is enhanced in an environment of positivity rather than being told what not to do. Due to this mentality, Family Advocacy crafted programs in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention such as the Self-Love Challenge. Self-Love at the basic level is having a confident and empowering view of oneself. This concept ties into Child Abuse Prevention because it allows children to explore and recognize their own self-worth. It is Family Advocacy’s hope that the Self-Love Challenge can empower children who may not have that positive view of themselves. In conjunction with the helpful relationship with the Youth Center directors, we held events at both the RAF Lakenheath and Mildenhall youth programs to facilitate the Self-Love Challenge with participants. The Challenge was designed as a five-day initiative where children completed a different activity every day that promoted their own self-love. The activities encouraged participants to identify things they love about themselves, fun things about them, ways they show kindness to others, affirmations, people and activities that are close to their hearts. A colorful packet was provided to every child participating for each day. Family Advocacy used a more interactive approach to include coloring, participation and games when we met with the Youth Centers. The entire initiative allowed for 226 contacts with children. Upon the completion of the events, we asked the children what they learned and majority of the responses said they learned that they are special and should always love themselves. Hearing such heartwarming responses from the children gives meaning to our work at Family Advocacy. Family Advocacy offers a variety of classes and services to the RAF Lakenheath community, which includes the Love & Logic Parenting Class. Community members can sign up for the class and other programs by contacting Family Advocacy at 226-8070.