Create Meaningful Memories With These 7 Fun Family Bonding Activities

Guest Blogger, Jordan Smith

Life is busy. From work and school to sports practices, dance recitals and school plays, it seems like there is never enough time to just enjoy being a family. While these day-to-day activities are important for families, they don’t always provide the bonding experiences parents — and kids — so badly crave.

Read more

3 Supportive Tips With a Health Diagnosis

friendship_hands_friends

Receiving a diagnosis of an illness or a disease is just the starting point for navigating the labyrinth style maze, filled with obstacles at every corner.

It is a maze, that sometimes is never-ending, you just learn to adapt and continue your journey forward.

The obstacles can become huge setbacks in a person’s treatment and overall mental health. Side effects with medication, surgeries, infections, hospitalizations, psychosocial effects, loss of work, financial strain, disagreement with care plans, insurance issues, pain, fatigue, depression, body image, loss of normalcy and the list goes on.

Friends, family, co-workers and even medical personnel, sometimes don’t understand everything that is involved with someone’s diagnosis.

Think about how difficult it is for a pediatric patient and their caregivers to face. It is overwhelming, thank goodness for child life specialists.

Here are 3 things that you can do to help them get through the maze and build resiliency.

  1. Listen- People need to vent and they don’t want to be interrupted with opinions. Sometimes just letting them talk is what they need. Don’t feel obligated to give a suggestion or try to change their emotions, to a happier one. By just listening, you are helping them process what is occurring and helping them to feel safe to share.
  2. Checking-In– It can mean a lot to just check-in and see how they are coping. Everyone may surround the person or family during the initial diagnosis, but then overtime get consumed with their own busy lives and forget that their friend or family member is continuing to adjust. Checking-in can be as simple as sending a card, email, delivering food, or running some errands for them. These gestures are warm and supportive, letting them know that they aren’t alone.
  3. Feeling Normal-  When you are sick, the first thing people say is, “How are you feeling?” It can be overused and irritating. Sometimes they don’t want to discuss their health, because they don’t want it to be the center point. Put the illness to the side and connect with them. Laughter, entertainment, sharing stories are just a few simple things that can bring about normalcy.

Related Articles:

Handling The News Of Your Child’s Diagnosis 

Play Group Vs. Support Group

How A Rare Disease Changed My Life

Just Stop and Play

connecting through play

“Mom, play with me!”

How could I resist this request from my adorable 5-year-old?

I paused all my mommy duties of cleaning my disastrous house, responding to emails, doing laundry and getting things sorted for the evening.

I sat down and gave Gavin just what he wanted, one on one time in his world.

I used a child centered play technique that is often used by child life specialists and one that I teach at Bank Street College. Basically it is letting the child lead the play, without judgement, expectations and limits. Kids can play with open-ended toys and begin to really get deep in their play with the adult mirroring and validating them. It is a wonderful way to help build a child’s self-confidence, resolve inner-conflict, express themselves, and at the same time it is strengthening the emotional relationship with the child and adult.

Twenty minutes of this type of play, brought us back together.

All the feelings of frustration from getting out the door this morning melted away.

You know the madness, yelling to get dressed, to stop teasing your sibling, to hurry up, put your listening ears on and threats of losing minecraft time. Those everyday, crazy parenting mornings, all flushed away from both of us.

There were no distractions, just he and I. It was the best twenty minutes of our day.

Would you be up to trying this out with your kids? I guarantee you would be shocked by the positive outcome that it brings.

Related Articles:

Explore Through Play: Scavenger Hunt

Learning Through Play

Child Centered Play DVD Preview