Informed Families Blog

How Are Your Kids Handling the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Posted by Informed Families on March 19, 2020 at 8:00 AM

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.

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Topics: parenting, tips, positive parenting, advice, children, teens, parents, healthy kids

President's Message - May 2019

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on May 28, 2019 at 9:00 AM

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.



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Topics: President's Message, parenting, college students, teens, peer pressure, e-cigarettes, drug use, parents, alcohol use, summer, healthy kids, juul

Family Focus: The Sundt Family

Posted by Informed Families on September 27, 2018 at 3:04 PM

Sundt brothers

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.”

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Topics: drug prevention, drug use, healthy kids, mental health, suicide

Suicide Prevention for Children & Teens

Posted by Informed Families on June 14, 2018 at 9:06 AM

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?

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Topics: healthy kids, mental health, suicide

Joe's Pre-Party At Miami Cancer Institute

Posted by Informed Families on March 14, 2018 at 12:00 AM

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.

Check out photos from the Pre-Party!

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.

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Topics: Joe's Stone Crab, healthy kids

The Super Bowl: A Teachable Moment

Posted by Informed Families on January 24, 2017 at 6:01 PM

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?

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Topics: underage drinking, alcohol, alcohol use, healthy kids

New Year’s Resolution Suggestions for Healthy Kids

Posted by Informed Families on January 17, 2017 at 7:30 AM

Florida parents: Congratulations, you made it through another year of navigating the anything-but-dull waters of raising a teenager. Welcome to 2017 - and buckle up for another challenging and, hopefully, rewarding year.

Although January may be in full swing, you aren’t too late for making resolutions—especially if those resolutions are aimed at raising healthy kids in 2017. Here are some suggestions for parenting resolutions to keep during the upcoming year and beyond:

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Topics: healthy kids

Healthy Kids: How Drugs and Alcohol Impact Your Children

Posted by Informed Families on November 17, 2016 at 7:02 AM

Being a parent of a teenager can be rewarding, joyous, maddening and infuriating—all at the same time. Unfortunately, it can also be frightening, especially with the prevalence of drugs and alcohol. Despite decades of prevention efforts and laws to limit access to booze and drugs, teens are still finding ways to use and abuse illegal substances.

Raising healthy kids can be difficult in today’s world, and the world isn’t exactly helping. Consider society and the media’s messaging on marijuana, for example. Casual pot smoking has become almost accepted, yet teens (and parents) don’t understand marijuana is more potent—and, thus, more dangerous—than ever. Kids might not fully realize the impact that drugs and alcohol can have on their health. As parents, your job is to help your children come to that realization; they need to know the facts in order to make smart choices. Here are some impacts that drugs and alcohol can have on otherwise healthy kids:

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Topics: healthy kids

The Value of Family Day for Healthy Kids

Posted by Informed Families on September 21, 2016 at 7:55 AM

Family Day is a national effort aimed at promoting family dinners and building healthy kids. Set for Sept. 26 this year, Family Day emphasizes the value of sitting down and enjoying a meal with your children. The benefits go beyond basic sustenance, reaching into something much deeper: Teens who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Here’s a deeper look at the value of Family Day and how this simple effort can lead to healthy kids:

Family Dinners, Healthier Kids

The prospect that family dinner ultimately results in healthier kids might seem odd, but research backs up this concept. One study conducted by Columbia University discovered that teens who had frequent dinners (more than five times a week) with their parents were more likely to have excellent relationships with them than those families whose dinners were infrequent (fewer than twice a week). Subsequently, the better the relationship kids have with their parents, the less likely they were to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

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Topics: Family Day, healthy kids

Family Time: The Best Way to Raise Healthy Kids

Posted by Informed Families on September 14, 2016 at 12:30 PM

The term “quality time” is often used when talking about the engagement parents have with their children. Today, quality time is more often applied to busy families—ones with crazy schedules that prevent them from much face-to-face, sustainable, screen-free interaction during a typical day.

However, we believe any and all time families spend together is important. In that sense, “family time” is a better term. If one of your top parenting goals is to raise healthy kids who make smart choices and resist risky behaviors, family time is one of your best strategies to achieve that. Here’s how:

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Topics: family bonding, healthy kids

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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