Helping Children Cope with a Storm

Big storms like hurricanes can be alarming for children.  Adult awareness and support can help children handle  feeling nervous or worried, and get ready to cope with the storm.

Best Ways For Adults To Help Children Cope With A Storm

Watching the Storm
Waiting for the storm

Stay Calm.  Children take cues from adult behaviors and attitudes.  Even if you feel worried, prepare as much as you can, and then stay calm.

Be aware of the storm broadcasts.  Hyped up news reports may increase children’s sense of alarm.  Keep the volume low and engage children in other activities.

Let children know it is okay to feel worried or scared.  Many children don’t like storms and feel afraid. Remind them that you will take care of them. [ more ]

Making Time for Family Time

Work together - and have FUN, too!
Work an a project together – and have FUN, too!

Life is BUSY for Today’s Parents

“I have to work late this week.”

“How many games do the kids have Saturday?”

“What time is the birthday party?”

“The laundry!!”

“What?? It’s December?!”

Life is busy – regular everyday life. And this time of year gets even busier. The holidays can be wonderful – full of family gatherings, special traditions, and delicious food. But it can also mean having too much to do and feeling very stressed! How can we navigate this hectic time and find the balance we need for ourselves and our families?

Family Time Can Be Simple, No-cost, and Beneficial

One of the most important things a family can do is to make time to be together. Time when everyone is unplugged and present. Time when the focus is on conversation. Time to re-connect. This is an excellent stress reliever and helps family members feel close to one another. But how do we find that time?

Here are a few ideas to carve out some family time with little or no fuss or prep:

  • Have a family meeting – get together over hot cocoa and graham crackers (without phones or devices). Start with each family member telling something kind or helpful another member of the family did for them. Talk about what is coming up that week. Schedule a Family Fun time – and it can be simple: block out half an hour to play a board game, go for a walk with flashlights, build a blanket fort, or color together. Having some simple, fun time together can make a big difference.
  • Eat together – one of the most important and beneficial things you can do with your children is have dinner together. Again, without any electronic devices or TV. Research shows children have a bigger vocabulary, do better in school, and even eat more fruits and vegetables when families have dinner together. And it doesn’t have to be a home-cooked meal. It’s the sitting down and eating together that’s important.
  • Give back – brainstorm with your children ways to help others. Think of something you can do as a family – volunteer at a food pantry, go through toys together to find some to donate, fix a meal for a neighbor, or serve a meal at a shelter. Spending time helping others strengthens the family bond and supports the community.
  • Work together – take on some projects that you can all do like raking leaves, sorting laundry, or organizing books. Make it fun by singing or telling knock-knock jokes. If children help with household chores from an early age, it becomes the expected norm. And it increases their sense of belonging and of feeling valued.
  • Just say ‘no’ – you do not have to say yes to every invitation or event that comes along – even if it might be fun to do. You don’t need to make excuses when you decline. A simple “We are not able to attend that evening” is fine. Scheduling time to not have plans is a splendid way to have some down time together. Treat that time like it’s written in stone; everyone can relax and re-charge.

Plan now to make family time a priority. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, or costly, or take a long time. It does need to be intentional and involve talking and listening. Everyone will feel more connected and better prepared to take on what life brings next.

Help children express gratitude with this Tree of Thanksgiving.

 

Tree of Thanksgiving

This activity helps children think about what they are grateful for. It’s uplifting, fun, and results in a colorful ‘tree’. Here is a template for making leaves out of construction paper. Hang the completed leaves on a branch and read them together.  https://acorndreams.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/GPB-58-1024×1024-300×300-7.jpg

July is National Picnic Month!

Planning a picnic with children can be fun and it involves brainstorming and making choices – great skills for life!  What sandwiches?  Which fruit will travel well? What toys should we bring? Even a picnic in the back yard or in another room is fun for children. Pack water, a blanket, and hand sanitizer– you’re good to go.

For more great skill-building tips, check out In a Nutshell on the AcornDreams homepage.