Connections Spotlight: Letter to Families

| April 7, 2020

By Rene RedDay, M.Ed

This is hard! But, you are doing it! Give yourself a big pat on the back from Coconino Coalition from Children and Youth! As a reminder, pause a few times daily to take a few deep, mindful breaths.

Another strategy to rebuild normalcy in your home is establishing routines. Children feel safe with routines. It gives them predictability and builds competence. Take a few moments right now to sketch out a daily routine that works for you. If you are working from home while caring for children, give yourself grace! Set a clear time each day to be done with work so you can rest and recharge.

Guardians can schedule young children’s days in chunks. For example, wake, eat, wash, play, eat, rest, snack, play, clean up, help with dinner, converse at dinner, bath, books, bed. With older children, ensure you clarify your expectations for continued learning and developing self-sufficiency. Be clear that they have a responsibility to help the family with daily chores.

Routines support family mental health!

  • Develop consistent wake, eat, and sleep times
  • Wash up and dress each day
  • Provide a different activity (or more) each day

For young children:

  • Cooking provides opportunities to learn math and science
  • Cleaning supports social-emotional and physical health
  • Creativity: large boxes, watercolor, blocks (use recyclables), dress-up (adult clothes or costumes)
  • Physical activity: sock ball into a basket, resistance bands, dance parties, stretch, yoga, jumping jacks, tape cray paper to a popsicle stick or straw
  • Music/Movement: dance parties, YouTube children movement activities
  • Write/draw: dry erase boards, paper, crayons, colored pencils, chalk, watercolor, playdough, stickers
  • Games: “Find something in the house that’s (color)”; Make puzzles from cereal boxes
  • Educational technology: PBS kids
  • Read: https://www.flagstaffpubliclibrary.org/catalog/downloadables.html or check out Facebook for author read-aloud for children

For older children there are online experiences:

  • fusd1.org/digitalhub
  • Ask youth to prep and/or prepare meals for the family
  • Guitar lessons
  • Photography
  • Cursive writing
  • Drawing/painting
  • Art museum tours
  • Talks by historians
  • Eat meals together when possible to connect and converse as a family
  • Enjoy quiet activities and read together to unwind before bed

You are resilient! Use what works for you and leave the rest.

And, PLEASE reach out for help when you need it!

Rene RedDay, M.Ed, Family and Community Engagement Consultant, Building
Community, LLC, Flagstaff, AZ. Call 928-266-8006 for more information. 
 
— CCC&Y is excited to partner with Building Community.  Leadership expansion is an important pillar of Self-Healing communities.  It is our intent to increase voice, connection and partnership throughout the county through this very targeted service.  We have engaged Rene to help increase our reach for prevention initiatives, support our child abuse and substance abuse prevention strategies across the county and to assist with increasing our NEAR-informed (neuroscience, epigenetics, ACES and Resiliency) capacityVirginia Watahomigie, executive director, Coconino Coalition for Children & Youth

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Category: Child Welfare, Education, Health

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