Open and honest communication to build strong bonds: Meet Ashley Briedenbach

May 4, 2021

Ashley Breidenbach is one of four Colorado parents who shared their story of parental resilience and parenting during the pandemic at the virtual launch of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Proud mom to 12-year-old Tristan, Ashley has managed to build a healthy relationship with her son by maintaining an open and honest line of communication. Ashley’s ability to model how to express and communicate emotions effectively, self-regulate and make friends has played a critical role in Tristan’s health and emotional development.

When news of COVID-19 hit, Ashley knew the importance of communicating with Tristan about what was happening in a way that he would understand. Her understanding of child development, one of five protective factors that allow parents to parent effectively, even under stress, helped Ashley to communicate with Tristan about life changes brought on by COVID-19.

To help cope with being cooped inside during stay-at-home orders, Ashley created a routine to bring normalcy to her and Tristan’s lives. Cooking dinners together, mastering TikTok dances, cross-stitching and knowing when she and Tristan needed to take space are just some of what got them through this past year.

Ashley describes herself as resilient and acknowledges. Before the pandemic, Ashley says she wasn’t always open to accepting help but became more comfortable doing so over the past year as she continued to work outside of the home during the unknowns of the pandemic.

Together, Ashley and Tristan are a team and their bond has grown even stronger over the past year. They attribute their family motto to Yoda: “The things that we have don’t define us. We are stronger than we know, and there is no try, only do.”


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Colorado Department of Human Services CO4Kids campaign encourages all Coloradans to strengthen families and communities throughout the year. If you know of a parent or family willing to share their story, or an organization working to strengthen Colorado families and communities that would like to be highlighted, please reach out to Dianna Robinson.

To learn about the signs of child abuse and neglect and for information about how to become a foster or adoptive parent, visit CO4Kids.org. Call 844-CO-4-Kids to report concerns about child abuse and neglect. If a child or teen is in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1.

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Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Don't hesitate to call and get help. 
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.