Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, health officials have noted an alarming increase in the use of drugs and alcohol, suicides, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
Informed Families Blog
National Family Day is on the Fourth Monday of September - that's September 28, 2020 this year. It’s a great opportunity for families to eat dinner together. Watch this 1 in video to learn more about why you should engage in regular family dinners.
Parents are often surprised to hear that something as simple as eating dinner together 4 times a week can reduce the likelihood that their kids will engage risky behavior. Parental engagement is the single most potent weapon in preventing substance use among youth. Check out our Family Days Activity Guide for ideas on how to turn dinner time into something everyone looks forward.
Orginally published in Miami Kids magazine.
Summer is finally here! We are all ready for a much needed break from homeschooling, and looking forward to some fun. However a less structured day, and minimal supervision can spell trouble for some kids and teens.
“It’s hard to keep tabs on your kids in the summer. Having family rules are essential all year, but perhaps even more so during the summer. They help keep kids, especially teens, out of trouble and give parents a little bit of peace of mind that their kids know guidelines exist and hopefully will be followed,” said Peggy Sapp, Informed Families President and CEO.
Establishing family rules are important. What are your rules? If you want to learn how to set and establish rules, contact Mery Dominguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-856-4886 about joining an Informed Families’ Parent Peer Group.
Spending time together as a family is great too. If you are looking for some ideas, don’t worry we have got you covered. Check out the list of activities of family-friendly summer activities below.
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.
With parents working remotely, kids learning virtually and extracurricular activities outside the home postponed, Family Day is every day during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most families have not had this much time together uninterrupted in some time.
Some families are using this time to reconnect. We love to see the cool things you have been doing - picnics in the backyard, themed dinners, bake-a-thons, game night, movie night and more. Use the #FLFamilyDays hashtag in your social media posts so we can continue to promote strengthening family relationships.
How Are Your Kids Handling the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. We are all trying to adjust to our new normal as things continue to rapidly change.
While you are struggling with health concerns, school closures, having to work remotely and financial uncertainty, your kids have suddenly been cut off from school, friends, extracurricular activities and more. How are your kids coping?
According to the CDC, children and teens are among the groups of people who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis.
Ways to help kids manage stress and anxiety
So what parenting advice is there to help kids manage their stress and anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak?
It is important to keep in mind that children and teens react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. Positive parenting is key right now.
It's Time For A Duel With JUUL
As our Safe Homes Smart Parents campaign kicks off, we think about all of the unhealthy trends facing our youth and what parents can do to protect their children. Right now, we are fired up about the 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students, as a result of JUUL Labs’ targeting of our youth. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, last year, 3.6 million U.S. youth use e-cigarettes. Talk to any teacher or parent of a teen and they will confirm the schools are overrun by JUUL and kids are showing real signs of addiction.
Some lucky ones will put away their JUULs before they’re addicted. But many are embarking on a lifelong addiction to nicotine. Many of those will continue to use JUUL for a considerable amount of time, and we simply do not know what consequences long-term use will have on their health.
What we do know is that e-cigarettes are not safe. And we know that nicotine use by children and teens negatively impacts their brain development. Among other things, it makes them more susceptible to addiction in general. The larger fear is they switch entirely to cigarettes and other tobacco products that are even more dangerous.
How We Pass Down Values To The Next Generation
From the moment our children are born, everything we do, every choice we make and every action we may or may not take communicates our values. Our kids are absorbing our every move, soaking up our interactions with them and with others.
We want them to learn right from wrong, how to be kind to others, how to recognize and manage their emotions and how to be honest, responsible and fair. Not only are our children more pleasant to be around when they learn these things, but they are more likely to be happy, perform well in school and become a productive members of society.
The loss of our great supporter, friend and philanthropist Betty Chapman this past week is a great reminder that we have the ability to not only pass values down to our children and their children, but we can pass down values in a community. Betty’s dedication to her community will continue to influence others to give back to their communities for decades to come.
THANKSGIVING OR EXCESS?
Thanksgiving used to be a time to gather with family and reflect on all of our blessings. We appreciated things, like a roof over our head, food on the table, clothes on our back and a country not at war.
Then, Thanksgiving became a time to eat and drink too much, drive ourselves crazy trying to please our guests or get along with our hosts and prepare for the shopper’s high we get from Black Friday.
Families of origin aren’t always healthy or easy to spent time with! I saw a comic recently featuring a “Convention of Adult Children of Normal Parents.” There were three people attending. Ha! Many of us have at least one trauma from childhood and complicated relationships with a sibling or another family member.
OH THE PLACES RED RIBBON GOES!
Red Ribbon Week Whirlwind.
I started in Washington DC at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes. Every year, the Department of Defense presents awards to the outstanding Prevention and Treatment Centers from each branch of the Armed Forces, including the National Guard. What a thrill to hear the story of the Army Garrison Japan and how they affected not just the lives of the members of the military and their families, but the entire base. I was also really moved by the Navy's Drug Education for Youth program in Norfolk, Virginia. The Military has less than 2% of their population test positive for drugs…We need to learn from the military and duplicate their efforts.
Then on to discussing HOW the Department of Education’s Safe & Healthy Schools can equip educators across America with the right tools during Red Ribbon Week with Paul Kesner. Informed Families' programs are TIER 1 UNIVERSAL PREVENTION PROGRAMS.
Later, I met with the Drug Czar, James Carroll, at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Director Carroll had been the keynote speaker at the Pentagon and also at DEA Headquaters. He is charged with coordinating drug efforts. What better place to start than discussing the size and scope of Red Ribbon Week. I asked Director Carroll to recognize the work of grassroots efforts as a way to empower a loyal base of Americans opposed to drug use. Since many states are adopting the Lock Your Meds Campaign, it would be nice to have a unified campaign that came from grassroots such as Lock Your Meds to help address the opioid crisis.