Back to School During the Covid-19 Pandemic
“It is the best of times, it is the worst of times” is surely a fitting description for today. During times of uncertainty, basic routines help us and our children feel more secure; thus, happier and healthier.
If your children are attending classes are remotely or at school some of the basics still apply:
- Have a healthy breakfast
- Get dressed for school
- Have a specific place for children to do their online work or their homework
- Ask about their assignments and review their work and homework
- When going to school, wear a mask
Telling your children you love them and that things will be okay are two messages you need to repeat often. Sometimes this is hard! If you are fearful about now and the future, practice Mindfulness with your children. It will help everyone. Mindfulness keeps our minds from running away to negative thoughts and worse case scenarios. Even three deep breaths will slow the freight train in the brain.
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Healthy Families Can Cope With Uncertainty
We are in the midst of raging waves delivering bad news and uncertainty. Healthy Families know how to roll with raging waves and uncertainty. Healthy Families know and accept they cannot change the rolling waves; they have been working together to build a set of beliefs, principals and skills that keep their boat from capsizing. Think of a sail boat - there are 8 pieces that make up the design. What keeps the boat steady is what you don’t see. It is the size of the keel, which provides an underwater balancing force that keeps the boat from tipping over.
You can’t build a boat in a hurricane with winds and rough seas. You must build a boat when the weather is good in preparation for the storms and uncertainty that will surely come with life. Informed Families’ mission is to help you build a healthy family structure. We provide lots of information and tools, but you have to access the information and start building your very own healthy family structure.
Family Table Time
Freedom: What's Your Definition?
FREEDOM…a great feel good word. However, freedom is a double-edged sword. Freedom is not just what I think freedom means. I have to be respectful of others’ definitions of freedom. We all have our own definition of the word, and we measure everyone else by that yard stick in our head. With freedom we also have responsibility.
In June we celebrated the end of World War II, when young men graduated from high school and immediately joined the service and headed to war.
The Korean War called up many men who had already served in World War II. Then Vietnam, a divided nation with people actually spitting on veterans. There are those willing to die to defend our Country and those who want to talk about freedom, but aren’t willing to fight or to sacrifice for freedom.
When I think of Freedom, I think of and salute the United States Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Merchant Marine Academy. Every day on the seven seas, in space, and on many continents they are working to keep America Free and moving us forward in technology. I’m not sure Americans know or appreciate what these Service Academies do for America.
Fathering Lasts a Lifetime and Beyond
We are celebrating dads this month - Father's Day is June 21st. Two months in lockdown because of COVID-19 has really shifted the perspective of some fathers. Parenting is a hard job, and we always hope for the best.After raising our two daughters, my late husband Neil and I helped raise our seven grandchildren. It’s not easy being a dad. But it is the most important thing you can do. I think Neil said it best in the article below.
Why Do We Turn Everything Into a Reason to Drink?
Social gatherings, bars and dining in restaurants are off limits for Cinco de Mayo this year, but many of us still plan to celebrate in some fashion - probably with a Mexican beer or margarita in hand. Have you ever stopped to think about why we turn everything into an opportunity to drink alcohol? Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl.
How did Cinco de Mayo (which commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862) turn into a bigger celebration day in the United States than Mexico? It’s all about selling you something of course. Cinco de Mayo really took off when beer companies started sponsoring Cinco de Mayo celebrations to promote and sell beer. Is this really that different from the advertising tactics employed by Big Tobacco?
Adapting to Change…who likes it? The Answer…no one!
Adapting to the shelter-in-place order forced on us during the COVID-19 crisis is showing some early adapters: the winners are colleges and schools making the switch from sitting in a classroom to having the classroom on your laptop. Hats off to you!
One of my college-age granddaughters sent me a text yesterday, but when I called her back (generational thing) she replied back via text: I’m in class can’t talk right now.
Many schools are requiring the students to show up for their online classes in their school uniforms or in the school’s dress code. Schools are getting on with business, the content is the same, but the delivery is different.
Informed Families was scheduled to be closed for Spring Break this past week, but we canceled it. Why? So we could get our Lock Your Meds curriculum online and ready to use when Miami-Dade County public schools reopened on March 30. Schools, teachers, parents and students rely on Informed Families to provide them the latest information, tips, and resources to keep kids safe, healthy & drug free.
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While the Media Was Focused on Opioids Look What Happened
While the media has been focused on the opioid crisis, the number of alcohol-related deaths more than doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017. Women have been impacted the most.
According Dr. George F. Koob, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director, “alcohol is a growing women’s health issue. The rapid increase in deaths involving alcohol among women is troubling and parallels the increases in alcohol consumption among women over the past few decades.”
Trends like Mommy wine culture, which normalizes the idea of drinking alcohol as a way to cope with stress, and sipping while shopping have become commonplace. We should always keep in mind that our kids are watching our behaviors. Do we want them to turn to alcohol as a way to escape from everyday stress or as the only way to relax and unwind?
They are bombarded with images promoting alcohol in that way already. A new report from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs says alcohol ads are leading teens to drink. A study in the Preventive Medicine journal found that social media could be sending out positive messaging about alcohol use as well.
Sign the Safe Homes Smart Parents pledge, and let’s work together to stem the tide of alcohol-related deaths by discouraging underage and binge drinking.
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People Participate in What They Help to Plan
The 2020 Red Ribbon theme is “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” So many of our youth are fascinated by superhero culture from Superman and Wonder Woman to Captain Marvel and Spiderman. It’s only fitting that this year we encourage them to be “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” To be an everyday hero.
People sometimes ask why the Red Ribbon theme changes each year. Understanding the history of Red Ribbon is key to understanding this important feature of the campaign. Red Ribbon has always been a grassroots movement. After DEA agent Kiki Camarena was murdered in 1985, communities across America began displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. People united and took a visible stand against drugs.
We change the theme each year to give the individuals that help spread the Red Ribbon message an opportunity to shape the campaign in a way that is relevant to our communities. Our mission to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug free America remains the same, but we must deliver it in a way that resonates with the youth and culture of 2020 if we want to be heard.
I love to see students “Sock it to Drugs” in wacky socks or wear sunglasses because their future is too bright for drugs during Red Ribbon Week. I encourage you to incorporate the official 2020 Red Ribbon theme “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” into your spirit week activities as well. Together we can honor the history of Red Ribbon and present a unified message in support of keeping kids safe, healthy and drug free.
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A New Year and A New Start
Welcome, 2020! Cheers to the start of a new year and a new decade.
We are encouraged by the recent findings from the annual Monitoring the Future survey. In the past year, the use of illicit drugs (other than marijuana) among 12th graders remains low. The misuse of prescription medicines and the use of alcohol and tobacco cigarettes continues to decline as well. However the number of youth vaping marijuana and nicotine is rising.
In the 1980s, we were fighting to keep our kids safe from cocaine, big tobacco and underage drinking. Today we are battling against opioids, vaping and binge drinking. The drug trends may change, but education and simple, clear communication remain key in keeping our youth healthy and drug free.
Informed Families has been fortunate to have such terrific partners help us spread our prevention messages. We are once again partnering with Publix to promote our Lock Your Meds campaign and messaging in all of their pharmacies this month. We are also working with the Florida Blue Foundation to increase awareness of the opioid epidemic and promote good mental health over the next three years.
Informed Families will continue to deliver on our mission to educate, enable and empower students, parents and communities to work together to keep children healthy in 2020. We are off to a great start!
The holiday season is here. It’s a very special time of year, and the perfect opportunity to remind ourselves that people are like gifts. We often get confused with the wrapping and fail to look at what’s inside. Sometimes we even forget to look at the gift you are to yourself.
I hope the message below, which I have shared in the past, will once again serve as a reminder of our most precious gifts:
People are gifts sent to me wrapped!
Some are wrapped beautifully;
They are attractive when I first see them.
Some come in very ordinary wrapping paper.
Others have been mishandled in the mail.
Once in a while there is a “Special Delivery.”
Some persons are gifts which come very loosely wrapped;
Others very tightly.
But the wrapping is not the gift!
It is easy to make that mistake…
It is amusing when babies do it.
Sometimes the gifts are very easy to open.
Sometimes I need others to help.
Is it because they are afraid?
Does it hurt?
Maybe they have been opened up before and thrown away~
I am a person.
Therefore, I am a gift to myself first of all.
Have I ever looked inside the wrappings?
Perhaps I’ve never accepted the gift that I am.
Could it be that there is something else inside the wrappings than what I think there is?
Maybe I’ve never seen the wonderful gift that I am!
Am I a gift to other persons?
Do others have to be content with my wrappings…
Never permitted to enjoy the gift?
Every meeting of persons is an exchange of gifts.
But a gift without a giver is not a gift.
Friendship is the gift of persons to each other,
For each other, and for others.