It’s tough being a kid, learning how to cope with daily life, wondering whom to trust, and trying to discern how you fit into the world around you.
Informed Families Blog
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 email@example.com 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.
When we talk about raising healthy kids, we often focus on Mom as the primary caregiver. Let’s not forget about the equally important role that Dad plays in shaping a child’s life. In fact, according to the National Fatherhood Initiative, father love is also a better predictor than mother love for certain outcomes including absence of delinquency and conduct problems, absence of substance abuse, overall mental health, and well-being.
Over the years, Informed Families has worked with some terrific dads like Alvah Chapman and Frank Borman, and some who have served as father figures to many including Don Shula and Butch Davis. We salute you all!
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.
Summer Is A Good Time to Refocus On Prevention
Another busy school year is coming to a close and we are all looking forward to having some down time and reconnecting with family. The start of summer is a critical time to talk with your kids about risky behaviors. Teens and college students most often use substances for the first time during June or July, according to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data on adolescents – 2012 and NSDUH data on full-time college students – 2015.
Unfortunately it’s not as easy for parents to recognize that their child might be experimenting with alcohol or drugs. JUUL e-cigarettes that look like USB flash drives, flasks disguised as lotion containers, sunscreen or smart phone cases, and CBD gummies can be hidden in plain sight. These items can all be purchased online. Talk to your kids about the dangers of using drugs or alcohol and arm them with the knowledge they need to make healthy choices. If you need some talking points take a look at these 11 Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Drugs & Alcohol.
It might be hard to acknowledge if your child has a substance abuse problem. It’s also difficult to find help. Many parents often ask - what should I do if my child is dealing with an addiction or mental health issue? The good news is a newly proposed Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act 2019 would help provide the infrastructure and community building that is are critical to getting them the care they need.
Jon Sundt tragically lost both of his brothers, Steve & Eric, to drug addiction.
“Steve and Eric had dreams,” said Sundt, a businessman and founder of alternative investment company Altegris. “They were athletes, they loved the outdoors and they loved the ocean. They were on a good path, enjoying life. [They] got sidetracked, listened to some friends who turned out to be not very good friends.”
Both became addicted to drugs in high school, thinking that they could just “experiment” and everything would turn out ok.
“They thought drugs were cool and would lead to something they [didn’t] have,” said Sundt. “They tried to fit in and kick it up a notch by doing drugs.”
Suicide is on the rise. According to the CDC, there's been a 30% rise in suicides since 1999. What can we do to prevent it? First we need to look at what’s causing it.
Many factors contribute to suicide and surprisingly, a history of mental issues is not always one of them. In fact, a recent study from the CDC found that 54 percent of the people who killed themselves didn't have a previously known mental health issue; rather, they were dealing with other problems including substance abuse or physical health, relationship, work or money issues.
The study emphasizes the need to both prevent the circumstances associated with the onset of emotional issues and to continue support those with known mental health issues. The authors of the study stress the need for prevention, which includes “teaching coping and problem-solving skills to manage everyday stressors and prevent future relationship problems, especially early in life; promoting social connectedness to increase a sense of belonging and access to informational, tangible, emotional, and social support.”
So what are some warning signs of suicide?
Informed Families kicked off preparations for its 33rd Annual Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant at an exclusive Pre-Party held at the Miami Cancer Institute (MCI) at Baptist Health South Florida (BHSF).
President & CEO Peggy Sapp and Joe’s Event Chair Joe Natoli welcomed guests who shared their favorite stories from past dinners and enjoyed live music from the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. Guests received tours of the new Proton Therapy Center at MCI. BHSF’s Care & Counseling team presented on the Opioid epidemic, which led to a thoughtful conversation on how we can tackle the crisis.
The Annual Informed Families Dinner at Joe’s, to be held on Monday, May 14, supports programs that further the organization’s mission of helping kids grow up safe, healthy and drug free.
Super Bowl Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your children and celebrate one of America's greatest treasures: football.
However, even before kick-off, kids are exposed to harmful alcohol advertising. Did you know that the alcohol industry spends over $5 billion a year on advertising? Why do they do it?