Kids Growing Up Fast! Hang on!

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My kids are 4 and almost 7 and keeping up can be a struggle with 2 active kids. I like taking photos and periodically I will look back on them to draw strength to refuel my parenting energy. I wanted to poll parents about this topic on what you do to get out of a slump when you are feeling depleted of energy from the grind of parenting.

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Poll

Click below and take the parenting Pop Quiz. A summary of results will be posted in a later blog post.

Parenting Essay Question

Test

Compassion Fatigue/Satisfaction Self-Test (CFS)

Tips

Tips to Help You Let Go of Your Child

There is no exact way to tackle and move through stages of your child’s development. Every child requires different parenting as every parent will do his best based on knowledge, experiences, and available parenting tools.

The following are basic tips to assist parents as they move through the difficult transition of letting go, when that time comes. Starting early will help create a good foundation upon which you can build successes at each critical stage of your child’s development.

  • Set boundaries for yourself; practice giving your child space to grow
  • Give your child a chance to master tasks alone and learn from mistakes
  • Trust that the values you’ve instilled will inform their decisions
  • Acknowledge that you’ve done your best as a parent and that the hands-on phase of parenting does come to an end
  • Treat the letting go process as a transitional loss and grieve accordingly; see a family therapist if necessary
  • As your child matures, rebuild a new relationship that is less about dependency and more about mutual respect, admiration, and a celebration of a budding, capable young adult

Source

Articles

Whenever Your Child Is Growing Up Too Fast, Remember This

Avoid Parenting Burnout by Limiting Your Options

Maxed Out Parents: 5 Strategies to Ease Burnout Tips to help manage parenting stress

Why Self-Care Is Essential to Parenting Caring for children with intense needs can take an emotional (and physical) toll on parents by Juliann Garey

How to Cope with Your Child Growing Up

My Kid Is Growing Up And It’s Bumming Me Out

Science Says the Most Successful Kids Have Parents Who Do These 9 Things

Quotes

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Death of a loved one can be difficult to navigate with your children.

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Death is that inevitable phenomenon that no one really cares to talk about, especially with your children. As we go through life death often pops up when we least expect it. This post is dedicated to resources to support your efforts in guiding your child through the tough process of death of a loved one.

Thoughts

Parenting While Grieving

How to help a grieving child

Grief Tip Sheets

Talking to Kids About Death and Grief: 10 Comprehensive Tips

The Grief Coaster: Understanding stress in grief

Journaling

Grief Activity Books for Kids 3-9

Activities

Here are some things you can do to help you express your feelings.

Activity 1:  finish the sentences

Finish the following sentences.

The thing that makes me feel the saddest is …..

If I could talk to the person who died I would ask….

Since the death my family doesn’t….

My worst memory is….

If I could change things I would….

One thing that I liked to do with the person who died was…

When the person died I….

Since the death my friends….

After the death, school….

When I am alone….

Is there anyone you want to share this with?

Activity 2: drawing

Find a piece of paper and fold it in half. On one side, draw a picture of your family before the death. On the other side, draw a picture of your family after the death. You might want to share your picture with someone who would understand.

Source

Activities for Grieving Children

Sesame Street Materials-

  • Storybook (2.1mb PDF)
    Curl up with this printable book, starring your child’s favorite characters: Elmo and Jessie.
  • Caring Cards (631kb PDF)
    Have these cards on hand when you need a conversation starter, an activity idea, or just a little inspiration.
  • Memory Chain (709kb PDF)
    Connect all your favorite memories—our paper chain template shows you how.

Books

List of children’s books about death (PDF)

The Dougy Center Materials (Books and Pamphlets on Death, Dying, and Grief)

1. Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children (kids 5+)

2.The Invisible String (kids 3+)

3. Everett Anderson’s Goodbye (Reading Rainbow)  (kids 5-8)

4. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (kids 6-9)

5. I’ll Always Love You (kids 3-7)

6. When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Life Guides for Families) (kids 4-8)

7. I Miss You: A First Look at Death (First Look at Books) (kids 4+)

8. The Saddest Time (kids 6-9)

9. Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss  (kids 8+)tear soup

10. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages (kids 4+)

11. Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying (kids 4+)

12. Where Are You? A Child’s Book About Loss (kids 4-8)

13. Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story About Coping With the Loss of a Parent (kids 5+)

14. The Scar (kids5-9)

15. A Terrible Thing Happened (kids 4+)

16. The Elephant in the Room: A Childrens Book for Grief and Loss (kids 4+)

17. The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Be Sad (kids 4+)  elephant in the room

18. I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand…: A Child’s Guide to Grief and Loss (Little Imp Books) (kids 9+)

19. Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children (kids 4+)

20. When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child’s Guide to Good Grief (Elf-Help Books for Kids) (kids 5+)

21. Someone I Love Died (kids 4-8)

22. What Happened When Grandma Died? (kids 4+)

23. Always and Forever (kids 4+)

24. Badger’s Parting Gifts (kids 4-8)

25. Ghost Wings (kids 5+)

26. Finding Grandpa Everywhere: A Young Child Discovers Memories of a Grandparent (kids 7+)

27. The Grandpa Tree (kids 3+)nana upstairs

28. Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss (Elf-Help Books for Kids) (kids 6+)

29. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs (Picture Puffins) (kids 4-8)

30. Daddy, Up and Down: Sisters Grieve the Loss of Their Daddy (kids 4-8)

31. Saying Goodbye to Daddy (kids 4+)

32. The Angel with the Golden Glow: A Family’s Journey Through Loss and Healing (kids 4+)

33. Where’s Jess: For Children Who Have a Brother or Sister Die (kids 3-6)

34. A Taste of Blackberries (kids 8-12)

35. Bridge to Terabithia (kids 8-12)

36. My Grandson Lew (kids 4-6)

37. Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope: A Read Aloud Story for People of All Ages About Loving and Losing, Friendship and Hope (as the title says, people of all ages!)

38. The Empty Place: A Child’s Guide Through Grief (Let’s Talk)(kids 5-10)

39. Dancing on the Moon (kids 3+)  sammy in the sky

40. Lost and Found: Remembering a Sister (kids 6+)

41. Stacy Had a Little Sister (A Concept Book) (kids 4+)

42. Ragtail Remembers: A Story That Helps Children Understand Feelings of Grief (kids 4+)

43. Goodbye Mousie (kids 4-8)

44. Remembering Crystal (kids 3+)

45. Rudi’s Pond (kids 5-8)

46. The Memory String (kids 4-8)

47. Sammy in the Sky (kids 4-8)

48. Where Do People Go When They Die? (kids 3-8)

49. Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories (kids 3-8)

50. Her Mother’s Face (kids 4-8)

51. Remembering Mama (kids 4+) her mother

52. Old Pig (Picture Puffin)(kids 3-8)

53. Pearl’s Marigolds for Grandpa (kids 3-7)

54. Saying Goodbye to Lulu(kids 3-6)

55. The Mountains of Tibet(kids 7+)

56. Rabbityness (kids 3-7)

57. I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand…: A Child’s Guide to Grief and Loss (Little Imp Books) (kids 9+)

58. Can You Hear Me Smiling?: A Child Grieves a Sister (kids 8+)

59. The Copper Tree (kids 5-8)

60. Everybody Feels Sad (kids 4+)

61. Grief is Like a Snowflake (kids 4+)

62. My Baby Big Sister: A Book for Children Born Subsequent to a Pregnancy Loss (kids 4-8)

63. Ladder to the Moon (kids 4-8)

64. Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement (kids 3-8).

Source

Camp

Grief Camp 

Camp Erin is the largest national bereavement program for youth grieving the death of a significant person in their lives.

Children and teens ages 6-17 attend a transformational weekend camp that combines traditional, fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, free of charge for all families. Led by grief professionals and trained volunteers, Camp Erin provides a unique opportunity for youth to increase levels of hope, enhance self-esteem, and especially to learn that they are not alone.

Camp Erin is offered in every Major League Baseball city as well as additional locations across the U.S. and Canada. The Moyer Foundation partners with hospices and bereavement organizations to bring hope and healing to thousands of grieving children and teens each year

Organizations

National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC)

Family Lives On Foundation

School

When death impacts your school

Therapy Materials

Clinical Grief Activities for Working with Bereaved Children

Taking Care of the Caretaker

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A few months ago I wrote a post called, “Check your Stress!” While it had some good tools to identify whether or not you were stressed, getting to the mindset of self care is something I have observed many parents and teachers avoid even if they realize it is affecting their work and happiness. Here are a few resources out there.

Get informed

Seven Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress

Self Care Advice for Caring Professionals

The Internet Wants to Help You Take Care of Yourself Stop. Are you hungry? Then eat something before reading this.

Self-Care For Teachers by Anne Brunette, MSW, Family Therapist

How Self-Compassion Can Help Prevent Teacher Burnout

Stess Warning Signs and Symptoms

Write about it

Simple approach
Think about ways of behaving, feeling or thinking that you would like to: • stop • start • continue.
For example: I would like to stop feeling guilty that I am not doing more for my ill family member. I would like to start taking an afternoon time out just for myself, to go shopping or to do yoga or to visit with friends. I would like to continue going to a family self-help group such as the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario when this support group ends.
_________________________________________________________
Write down your wishes.
Stop: ____________________________________________________________
Start: ____________________________________________________________
Continue: ____________________________________________________________

Activity : Quick wins

Get Help

Get a Therapist.  In the US or Canada this link will find a therapist for you.

Some measures of Stress and Burn out

PROFESSIONAL QUALITY OF LIFE SCALE (PROQOL)

ARE YOU BURNING OUT?

Putting Things Into Perspective Where is your time going?

Tself-care assessment scale by Saakvitne and Pearlman from the Traumatic Stress Institute.

Ted Talk Videos

Self Care

Other Links

Self-Care for Teachers

The following resources can help you cope with some of the common sources of stress and burnout among educators and others in the helping professions.

Self-Care Review – Checklist

Student SELF-CARE Manual (Good tools)

Self-Care Domains In each domain, list the activities you are doing to take care of yourself.

My Self Care Plan

Workbook with Self Care tools

Self Care Strategies

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Anxiety and kids

Great New York Times Article: Anxiety In-Depth Report

Stress Reduction Activities: Stress Reduction Activities

How Parents Can Help Their Children: Article

Evidence-based Classroom Strategies for Reducing Anxiety in Primary Aged Children with High-functioning Autism

Secondary Students

Transition to Middle School: Article

Anxiety: Teen Workbook

Your Adolescent – Anxiety and Avoidant Disorders

Anxiety: Newsletter

Suicide prevention

Suicide is a major public health concern. Over 41,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States. More than twice as many people die by suicide each year than by homicide . Suicide is tragic. But it is often preventable. Knowing the risk factors for suicide and who is at risk can help reduce the suicide rate.

Who is at risk for suicide?

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk for suicide. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics. The main risk factors for suicide are:

  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Incarceration, being in prison or jail
  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or media figures.

The risk for suicidal behavior is complex. Research suggests that people who attempt suicide differ from others in many aspects of how they think, react to events, and make decisions. There are differences in aspects of memory, attention, planning, and emotion, for example. These differences often occur along with disorders like depression, substance use, anxiety, and psychosis. Sometimes suicidal behavior is triggered by events such as personal loss or violence.

In order to be able to detect those at risk and prevent suicide, it is crucial that we understand the role of both long-term factors—such as experiences in childhood—and more immediate factors like mental health and recent life events. Researchers are also looking at how genes can either increase risk or make someone more resilient to loss and hardships.

Many people have some of these risk factors but do not attempt suicide. Suicide is not a normal response to stress. It is however, a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention.

Source: NIMH Suicide Prevention

Jane Pearson on Warning Signs for Childhood Suicide

It’s a question asked by parents, educators and health professionals. How do we prevent suicide among our children? In this special podcast series devoted to Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day, Dr. Jane Pearson of the National Institute of Mental Health talks about important warning signs that come from children. She also looks at how well-intended reaction to tragedy can have unintended consequences. Dr. Pearson is with the Division of Services and Intervention Research at NIMH and a leading expert on suicide research.

Talking to Kids about Suicide

Joanne Harpel, Margo Requarth, and Nancy Rappaport. (c) AFSP Survivor Initiatives Department, 2014.

Things to consider around suicide

Ten Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Suicide

PowerPoint on Suicide– Take time to go through this is a great resource.

Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents & Educators– NASP

If you are in crisis

Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

Additional Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK(8255)

Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1

Check your stress!

As we all know stress can be really bad for your mental and physical health. Take a moment and reflect on where you fall on the chart below to measure your levels.

The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale

Be good to yourself and practice good self care.

Here is an inventory to check to see how you are doing with your self care.

Self Care Inventory

Also here is a Coping Checklist so you can see positive and negative ways that you Cognitively, Behaviorally, and Emotionally and Socially deal with stress.

Coping Worksheet

Go further and log your progress for a week  (See Below).