J Simens.com

Camps: Don’t target your child’s weakness, so for the strengths


Tahoe Summer Camp

 

Some children thrive in a camp like environment.

Some kids are way out of their comfort zone.

But all children can benefit from camp because of the independence and social skills that it builds.

 

Children should attend camp when they have the emotional vocabulary to express how they are feeling and would be able to articulate that to an adult in charge. This type of development is like a sliding scale; some children have it at eight years old others not until they are twelve years old.

Do you build up a weakness or strength?

Parents often look at camps for ‘growth’ for their child and will target
areas they feel their child is already strong in. Parents want to help develop
that area.  Some parents do the opposite; they target a weakness the child has.

As an expert in child, adolescent and family therapy, I know, parents must
target the strengths of their child. If parents target camps that highlight
the ‘strengths’ of their child, they will see more self-determination and
strength from their child when he or she returns. Empowerment results from
being treated with respect and having your strengths acknowledges and
enhanced.

I have worked with over 20,000 students and parents who do summer camps each year. Working as a school counselor, I was involved in overnight trips, week-long trips, international trips and a variety of kinds of camps with a variety of ages. I have had endless conversations with parents before/ during and after a school sponsored trip and how it impacted their child. These are my tips.

Tips for Parents

  • All parents should talk to their child about ‘homesickness’ even if
    their child has NEVER been homesick before. So often we are not sure why or how homesickness hits so all parents should help their child have a plan of action. Each child is unique, but some things seem to work well with many children.
  • Parents should not send anything unless they have talked to their
    child, and then asked them, “Would you like to take a photo?” “Would it be helpful if I put in some friendly notes in your items?” Some parents feel guilty, and they put in things in the suitcase because they need to do it.  Not that their child needs it.
  • I always encourage parents to discuss what will be in suitcases and stick to the plan. Some kids feel more out of control when parents sneak things in on them.
  • Calls home from camp should not be treated lightly or brushed off with words like “you only have two more days” or “you are a big girl”. What the child needs is to be heard and know that the parents care about their feelings. Parents can also ask to speak to an adult and get some real facts. Who is my child sitting by at lunchtime? What do her sleeping habits look like? What adult has she connected to? What seems to be the hardest thing for her to do? Then the parent should get back on the phone and talk to the child again.

I call it a ‘sandwich call’.

Top layer is the child’s actual feelings and emotion. The middle is the ‘meat’ of the

The middle is the ‘meat’ of the situation – the facts. The bottom layer is unconditional love and support

The bottom layer is unconditional love and support from the parents.

For families who are doing a summer camp

Important. Ask your child to do this activity. – Before you leave make a list of all the times you have already been successful and put this list in your suitcase. Example: Stayed with Grandma two weeks, Stayed at Carla’s house about 10 times, Stayed at the school sleepover one night, Stayed at a basketball camp two nights. Then make an “action plan.”

Then create your unique “action plan.”

At camp if you are not feeling okay about the situation.

  • Get your thoughts on paper. If you are able to explain in writing
    what is really bothering you, you might be able to work out a plan on your
  • Know whom you will go to talk to because the longer you wait to
    express your concerns the bigger the event or feelings can be. Parents

Parents should make sure the child knows about the camp nurse or the camp dorm support person or others that are around to help them. Parents should make sure the camper has seen the website or handouts so they understand how big the camp is and who is available to help kids.

  • On your notes- jot down your plan – who you will talk to and when
    will you talk to them. This will often get a child to make the first step
    towards action.

 

 

 

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Summer Time breeds Neighborhood Kids and Overlap: Sane or Confusing


School Buses

School’s out for the summer!

Practical or Foolish, how are the stops in your home from the neighborhood kids?

Do you seldom see your own children? Often as parents, we only remember the negative situations with our children’s neighborhood friends. Parents need to have the real facts and data so they can back up their needs with what has been happening.

Keeping track of time is important

Summer time breeds neighborhood kids and your front door banging open and shut. Summer time generates a lot of children in your living room or backyard. Summer time can foster close family time.

I encourage parents to keep a small notebook with playtime interactions that include the date and the length of time the kids played together in their own home as well as how often they were next door at their peers home. Knowing that your child was also at their home eight times this week makes it not seem so bad when their child shows up the ninth time this week.  It is also important to realize if this was a ‘normal’ week of interactions or if it was out of the norm.

 Stop bad habits before it is too late

It is much easier to stop the overuse of your home when you first noticed it happen than trying to correct a situation after it has become more of a habit. Make sure you know what is happening at the start of your summer so you are able to modify the play dates prior to it becoming a long hot July and even longer, hotter August.

As an international school counselor I often have parents find their family living in compounds or camps so this closeness and setting a play boundary is a huge concern for many families. Some families find that their own living room is overrun with kids as soon as the school day is over. It often helps to have the rule that all kids must “go home” first before they can come back to play.  This allows all those important school papers to get to their own home instead of being left at your house.  It also allows the child to possibly eat an afterschool snack at their own home creating less of a mess in your own home. I think the biggest benefit is it allows you to check in with our own children to see what their day was like and if they have any major things that need to be taken care of before play starts.

Home first then play

This is also wise during summer hours. If your child goes off to a dance class, always make them come into your own home first before going next door to play. This allows her to put up her dance shoes and dance bag. She can grab a snack and get ready for a play date next door.  If your child leaves the car directly, those special dance shoes might remain at the neighbors and will not be easy to find before the next dance class.

Rules and Meltdowns

I encourage parents to be honest with their own children first before they approach the neighborhood kids or parents. Parents should avoid having their own child meltdown when they are addressing the problem of too much time together or limiting the use of playtime at their own home.

Once you make the rules public, you need to keep to your own rules. Families deserve to have special time as a family unit. This is one benefit of the long summer hours and the kids out of school. Don’t let your home become a place where you can’t take advantage of this family time.

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What Should Be Banned?


Parenting can be very hard regardless of where you live. I feel it is compounded when you are living in a country different than where you grew up. Growing up in one area you learn small things behind the scenes that make sense to you.  I have spent 28 years abroad and had the benefit of raising two children in this span. Some of my parenting “knowledge” might not make sense to others but it holds true to myself and my kids.

Can you think of any way to get our young kids not to drink and drive?

imgres 2

To cut down on drinking and driving in Louisiana, lawmakers have banned the state’s ubiquitous drive-through daiquiri shops.  Sounds like a great idea!

Wait – those shops are still legal.

Sen. Dan Claitor successfully lobbied the state Congress to allow only solid plastic lids, not pre-punched hole plastic lids. True, they can’t put pre-punched hole covers on the to-go daiquiris.

As a parent, we always want to keep our children safe. This can be heightened when you live overseas.

I have had unrealistic fears just because of the exposure I have had in certain countries. I know my fears were justifiable but ‘not normal.’  Let me give you a few examples:

  • In Indonesia, I would not let my children ride the small electronic animals you see in malls because several children had been electrocuted while riding in a mall due to poor electrical wiring. My kids understood my worry, and since I never gave in, they stopped asking while we lived abroad. They did get unlimited rides in the summertime when we were in an area where things like this were monitored, grounded and appeared safe.
  • In several countries we lived in, I would not let my children eat the ‘street food’. Mostly because when you see meat grilled on sticks and you have no idea what the meat is…you should not eat it.  I still firmly believe this.  I also hate it when people tell you it is “meat.”  I want the exact type of meat, is it a snake, water buffalo, rat or what.  When we go to Disneyland, Silver Dollar City in the Ozarks and at The Ponderosa Ranch in Lake Tahoe, I would let my children eat anything they wanted at the small vendors or stalls.
  • When in Thailand, I have made it a rule that my children (who were both over 18 years old) cannot use the ATMs that are outside.  They have to get cash from machines located in a building.  Why?  It was the rainy season, and several children have died due to shocks coming from the ATMs, again water and electricity not a good mix. Once again, my children did as I ask, they understood my demands came from caring and not just being bossy. They also don’t think I am irrational. Just a mom who loves them.
Picture 23

So that is why I am happy places in the USA still care about drinking and driving.  Do I think a small hole in a lid will stop a person from drinking or not drinking something that they purchased – No.  Do it think the inability to slip a straw into that alcoholic beverage will stop a person from buying, consuming and then driving – No.  Am I glad to see others have faulty thinking – as I do? Yes.

At times it is very important to remember that our fears can be real and our justification can be weird but if it is coming from concern for our children, it is good.

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946,080,000: Wow, that’s a lot of moments so dear!


Memories are what bind families together around the world. Memories shared are quality time spent with family. Memories are often all we have of past times. 

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose”, wise words from Fred Savage. He played Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years. 

Taglines:

It’s 1968. The Suburbs. And in each little house with a Chevy in the driveway and a TV in the den, there are people with stories…families band together in laughter, hope, love and wonder (season 1).  Its lack of laugh tracks and a single camera set up were revolutionary.

The Wonder Years set itself apart from other shows of its time, production-wise, with its single camera setup, use of a narrator, and complete lack of laugh track. “The Wonder Years [showed the television industry] that it’s OK to create a show like that—to take out the laugh track, to try different camera styles—to take a risk,” said Josh Saviano.

Resilience – one of the most common thread is the quality of time spent with family

Simens Wedding
Simens Wedding

 

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear – How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights – in sunsets – In midnights – in cups of coffee – In inches – in miles – In laughter

How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love? – Measure in love – Seasons of love

 

I am usually not one to talk much about my personal romances. Some things are private even if you blog about “home life” and “parenting.”

My first kiss was…

My first love was …

At times, it is hard to remember since Kevin has been a part of my life for 30 years!

At one time I did have a boyfriend younger than I was…

At one time I did date a basketball player …

I remember my first kiss with Kevin…

And I remember the last one…

You will see the reasons for my questions if you watch this film. I love the rainbow in the short movie.  Briand’s Apricot evokes forgotten memories. This movie is a film for the Dreamers, a film for the romantics and a film for film lovers.

APRICOT — A Short Film by Ben Briand from Moonwalk Films on Vimeo.

This year, the day we were to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary, we were apart. It did seem appropriate enough that I was with my flower girl from my wedding 30 years ago but not with Kevin.

 

I can’t imagine anything better than to be with my flower girl as an adult sharing the things that I love. We were at the Women in Tech conference in NOLA. Collision Conf 2017  was a great event this year. Imagine three women sharing all different backgrounds thriving at a conference. Amy, my flower girl, and niece is a graphic designer, Jackie – my daughter is a computer consultant and myself representing Families in Global Transition, we all found #Collusionconf a treasured experience.

Now back to Kevin, We had spent 946,080,000 seconds in love (not counting the three months we were engaged and the few shorts weeks before that when we met) There are so many things I remember about the last 30 years.

A visible record will provide some perspective

A few things stand out –

When we first decided we would start a ‘global life,’ Kevin wanted to give me a gift to symbolize our move from the USA to Singapore.  Of course, he bought me a lovely gem!  Little did he know that this simple tradition would slowly grow into a beautiful collection with so many International moves under our belts.  I am a firm believer that family traditions are a must for all families but vital for mobile households!  These types of rituals don’t have to be big or expensive – it is the simple traditions that keep a family strong.

When we made our first move from the USA overseas, I remember the excitement. We jointly made the long inventory list. We packed up many suitcases. We stuffed the air shipment full. We moved. We unpacked together and went shopping for our new home together. The last international move, I  updated the inventory. I left and went to the USA for the summer holiday.  Later that year, we packed up our home in Bangkok, Thailand and got it ready to head to Balikpapan, Indonesia.

On that our last international move from Bangkok to Balikpapan – Kevin sent the air shipment off to our son’s college. Kevin unpacked our home in Balikpapan. Kevin then meet me in the USA where I was still on vacation. I didn’t do much for this move.

But, our very last step was when we repatriated to the USA. Being a repatriate is very different than being an expat. We tried to consolidate all of our belongings so they would fit into our USA based home. The work before the actual move was a hard time. The actual move was smooth. We were going back to a fully functioning home, so we had no worries or concerns about the items being sent “home.”  We also could care less when the items arrived. It was a stressless move until the boxes showed up!

It is important that global families are flexible with what works best for them at that moment in time.

When we retired we packed up our expat life together and headed to the USA. We would not be returning to work. We were starting a new life of not “working.” I was excited.

When we first moved overseas, we went as a family of two to Singapore. We had long walks together, fun dinners with lively conversations and many talks about the upcoming trips we would be doing.  Two children later and 18 years with kids in elementary and high school, we are once again alone. When we left Borneo, we were again, a family of two.

Today we are enjoying long walks together, fun dinners and many talks about planning family vacations. Last year,  we jumped on a paddle wheeler and cruised around Emerald Bay. We cruised around Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe. We looked at Vikingsholm, an excellent example of Scandinavian architecture which is a 38-room mansion.

This year we did a beautiful walk on the beach of Lake Tahoe, had champagne in front of the fireplace since it had snowed last night. Then we went to Soule Domain for a wonderful dinner celebration.

It is important that the adults in the family remain close, so the children benefit from the quality of time spent with family.

It had been a great 30 years!

Notes:

For those family members that flew to the San Francisco Bay area for our wedding, I am glad you were a part of my memories.  We are lucky enough to spend our 25th with about 25 of our best friends in Bangkok, and I am thankful for those memories.

This year we didn’t get 30 of our close friends together, but we wanted to!  So plan to come to Tahoe on May 2nd next year, and we will invite you to our anniversary party!

For Amy and Jackie – thanks so much for attending Collision Women in Tech 2017 with me. Those memories are priceless!

Notes: Movie – APRICOT -A Short Film by Ben Briand
by Moonwalk Films
Winner: Community Choice Award
Voted Best Narrative on Vimeo by its users

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Graduation Rituals for Kindergarten: Is there a worldwide theme?


I believe that experiences in the early years of your child’s life deeply impact him for the rest of his life.

Rituals are emotionally enriching. May is often the month for Graduation. Graduation from preschool, graduation from Kindergarten, Graduation from elementary school and graduation from High school (USA focus).  Some graduations are fun and some are stressful.

I believe that these levels can be important milestones but in the younger years, we really need to have the event be driven by the children and make sure it is age appropriate.

I just experienced an age appropriate ceremony.

The children had each published their own writing story. They shared their new books by inviting their parents into the classroom. They had decorated the room, they had made their own brownies in the school kitchen, they poured their juice, served the guests first and were as ‘proud’ as any child could ever be. Parents took a ton of pictures. This was a successful ritual that marked a milestone. These children had moved from Kindergarten into the larger elementary school.

Then I attended a different kindergarten graduation.

Parents decorated the room, they purchased a cake, children had to wear uncomfortable clothes. They had it in a huge auditorium. Some kids were scared to walk across the stage alone. Parents took a lot of pictures.

This was a school created ritual. Kids received a diploma but they did not show the same pride as the children who had produced their own book from their computer and a printer.

There is no right or wrong way to create a ritual but often these things evolve into something far off from what they started out being in the first place. Sometimes new parents come onto the scene and want to make it “better and bigger” than last year. They lose site that this celebration should be meaningful to the children and that the children should be involved and engaged in the process and not just photo props.

Rituals are memories – have you checked on yours lately?

When I graduated, I can remember the dress I wore, who I had to try and walk down the isle at the same time matching step to step and I remember walking across the stage to get a single red rose.  I don’t remember the importance of that graduation, just that we did it.

Julia Wright and Dan Starns in Winona

 

When I graduated from University – I remember every detail of this ritual.  I remember how hard it was to maintain the grades I needed in order to get the scholarships I needed.  I remember locking in a job before I walked across the stage to get my diploma. I remember every person who was on that stage that day and what they said to me.  Due to the time of the event, I only had friends at the graduation.  I remember my friends. Some are still close friends 30 years later.

The ritual that stands out the most for me is my son’s preschool graduation.  He attended an Indonesian international play school. The kids spent several months learning about their host country, the music, the customs, and the rituals that happen in Indonesia. When their special day came, they got to pick out an outfit they wanted to wear as a celebrational outfit. They got to pick if they’d do a dance, a song, or share art from their host country. My son decided to recite the poem “Pelangi, Pelangi”.

Pelangi, pelangi

Alangkah indahmu

Merah, kuning, hijau

Di langit yang biru

Pelukismu agung

Siapa gerangan

Pelangi, pelangi

Ciptaan Tuhan.

Later I learned that the English words to his poem were:

Rainbow, rainbow
How beautiful you are!
Red, yellow, green
On the blue sky.
Who is
Your great painter,
Rainbow, rainbow?
I’m a Creation of God.

I love this ritual if it is driven by the young students – I hate this ritual when it is driven by the parents and has no connection to the child.  What is your school doing this year?  It is not too late to make some changes and make it a ritual that is meaningful.

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How Aware Are You, Socially?


I spend an enormous amount of my time trying to help children see how they fit in with their peers and how to understand what social clues are out there to know what behavior is acceptable. It is a fun but challenging job.

 

Some kids are quick to see the benefits of being socially aware others could care less. Children who come into my office are there to get help and support. It is not the branch of the school that deals with punishment. So often, kids think my office is fun, and we celebrate their strengths. I reflect on my work as a ‘party’ most days. In a  recent conference in Washington DC, I told them I had the best job in the world.

Where ever you are, celebrate with friends and family.  Join the crowd and use #WorldPartyDay to share on social media.

Since 1996, April 3 has been declared World Party Day.  Did you celebrate? One year, I did not, I was involved in two of my least favorite things in the world…travel in economy class and a phone notification that my mother was in the emergency room.  Yikes, not a celebration of any sort.

This year, I am in Roatan with my best friends, Pauline and Carol. We will be going to El Paso for the super baleadas to start our celebration. We are hoping to listen to Mickey Charteris talk about Caribbean Reef Life this evening.

Why #WorldPartyDay

“The idea of a worldwide party appeared as a work of fiction in Flight, A Quantum Fiction Novel, by American writer Vanna Bonta. The trilogy’s first book, published in 1995, ended with a countdown that was to take place on April 3, 2000, postulating that on that day the entire world would celebrate synchronously in elevated social awareness.”

Do you know this TCK?

In her early life, Bonta’s cultural experiences branched worldwide from her American-Italian-Dutch ancestry. Her father, a military officer, was raised in a small town in the American south. Her mother, a fine art painter, was born and raised in Florence, Italy. Bonta traveled the world with her family, living in Thailand as a young girl for six years when her father was stationed there as a diplomat.

Vanna attended an international school with children of many nationalities who practiced different religions. The experience fostered an understanding and interest in universal humanity, as well as an environment for learning four languages.

I love this massive worldwide phenomenon now in progress involves millions of individuals, organizations, and corporations around the world who are realizing a responsibility and ability to contribute positively to the collective future of Humanity and Earth.

Throughout April, I will be continuing the World Party Day theme!

I will be celebrating when we (a child and me) look into their social situation and can see what he/she can relate to and what they can do next. I look at social awareness as knowing ourselves in society and knowing what is going on in society. It is a two-prong situation.

So why do we need to be aware, because information about the society and its issues make us more responsible for the community? If kids are taught about social issues and problems, they will make an effort to do something about it, therefore improving society as a whole.

social awareness
social awareness

Do emotions help us make more ethical decisions?

Many of you know I work with kids and their feelings – big time. This is key to so many things in their life.  Do emotions help us make better ethical decisions? I believe they do. If the child cannot understand their own emotions or tune into the emotions of others in their family or with peers, this is a huge risk. If the child is unable to make ethical decisions, they are a risk to themselves and a risk to society.

There are a lot of social problems around the world. It is essential that more and more people be made aware of these issues so that we can fight them as a united world. Social awareness also makes the individual more mature and thoughtful when it comes to making important decisions for themselves or society.
Here are some of the more creative campaigns from around the world on social awareness.

Notes:

Don’t miss the debut album from World Party Karl Wallinger’s insightful songs deal primarily with the responsibility of the individual to recognize and cope with the problems of the world. The song, World Party, is well worth a listen. Wallinger is a multi-instrumentalist, enabling him to demo and record the bulk of World Party material as a one-man band.

World Party Day or (P-Day) was celebrated in  United States, France, England, Africa, Italy, China, Korea, Vietnam, India, and Thailand. There is a simultaneous celebration of World Party Day that occurs in every continent of the world. The celebration has no religious or political connections. The theme of World Party Day celebrations is a “universal human right to fun, peace, and life.”

Global podcasts featured a variety of music and radio stations reading from the novel Flight.

The Quadrille Dance Parade is a fun event – check it out!

April – Resilience is Beautiful


child abuse

April is Child Abuse Month in the USA.

Protective factors are conditions in families and communities that, when present, increase the health and well-being of children and families. They are attributes that serve as buffers, helping parents who might otherwise be at risk of abusing their children to find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress. All international teachers and counselors need to know what protective factors they can offer the parents they work with.

Sometimes the global nomads are the ones at most risk.

I was on an American Foreign Service Association panel on TCK’s, where Ruth Van Reken pointed out that sexual abuse was a worldwide concern. Ruth is the leading authority in the social science field of ‘third culture kids”, ‘third culture adults” and “cross-cultural kids.”

Research has shown that these protective factors link to a lower incidence of child abuse and neglect.

Six Protective Factors

1) Nurturing and Attachment
I often blog about the importance of attachment, in fact, I do it so much, that I am considered an attachment specialist. When parents and children have strong, positive feelings for one another, children develop trust that their parents will provide what they need to thrive, including love, acceptance, positive guidance, and protection.

The impact of nurturing on development:

  •  Information about infant and toddler development, including brain development
  • The importance of an early secure attachment between parents and young children
  • Examples of secure parent-child attachment at all ages

Parenting strategies that promote nurturing:

  •  Cultural differences in how parents and children show affection
  • How fathers nurture children
  • Ways to engage other important adults as part of a child’s “nurturing network.”

2) Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development
Parents who understand how children grow and develop can provide an environment where children can live up to their potential. Addressing developmental challenges such as inconsolable crying, bedwetting, eating or sleeping problems, lying, school issues, problems with peers, and puberty is important things parents need to know.

3) Parental resilience
Resilience is the ability to handle everyday stressors and recovers from occasional crises. Parents who are emotionally resilient have a positive attitude, creatively solve problems, effectively address challenges, and are less likely to direct anger and frustration at their children. When parents identify and communicate what worries them most, there is an opportunity to offer some coping strategies and resources to begin to deal with the stress. Parents are not always aware how their ability to cope with stress may impact their capacity to parent and their children’s development.

Find ways to build resilience

  • Stress management techniques, such as regular exercise, relaxation to music, and meditation or prayer
  • How to prevent stress by planning ahead, anticipating difficulties, and having resources in place
  • How to anticipate and minimize everyday stress
  • How to handle major stressors, including accessing resources and supports from family, friends, faith communities, and other community resources

4) Social connections
Evidence linked social isolation and perceived the lack of support to child maltreatment. Trusted and caring family and friends provide emotional support to parents by offering encouragement and assistance in facing the daily challenges of raising a family. Sometimes parents will not identify a lack of social connections or emotional support as an issue. Instead, they may express concern about a child’s behavior problem or their depression.

Benefits of a broad social network

  • Helps ease the burden of parenting
  • Models positive social interactions for children and gives children access to other supportive adults
  • Provides support in crises
  • Offers opportunities to help others

5) Concrete support for parents
Many factors beyond the parent-child relationship affect a family’s ability to care for their children. Language or cultural barriers may make it difficult for some parents to identify services and carry out the necessary contacts. Providing information and connections to concrete supports can be a tremendous help to families under stress or in crisis.

Picture 19

6) Social and emotional competence of children
Just like learning to walk, talk, or read, children must also learn to identify and express emotions effectively. When a child has the right tools for healthy emotional expression, parents are better able to respond to his or her needs, which strengthens the parent-child relationship. Parents can help children learn to identify and properly communicate their feelings to others.

You can play a major role in helping parents explore and assess their child’s emotional and social development with some of the following strategies:

  • Help children understand their emotions by first giving the feelings names and then encouraging them to talk about how they are feeling.
  • Use pictures, books, and other visual elements to help the child understand his or her emotions.
  • Give children opportunities to suggest different ways he or she can deal with feelings.
  • Teach children the different methods for responding to feelings, conflicts, or problems such as taking deep breaths, stepping away from the situation to calm down, or asking an adult for help.
  • Praise the child for healthy emotional expression.

History of Child Abuse Month (USA)

Increasing public awareness of the need to ensure the safety and welfare of children  (1974) led to the passage of the first Federal child protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives resolved that the week of June 6-12, 1982, should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week. In 1983, April was proclaimed the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In 1989, the Blue Ribbon Campaign to Prevent Child Abuse began as a Virginia grandmother’s tribute to her grandson who died as a result of abuse. She tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her car as a way to remember him and to alert her community to the tragedy of child abuse. The Blue Ribbon Campaign has since expanded across the country; many people wear blue ribbons each April in memory of those who have died as a result of child abuse and in support of efforts to prevent abuse.

When the U.S. Surgeon General named 2005 the Year of the Healthy Child, there was renewed commitment to make child abuse prevention a national priority. OCAN invited 26 national organizations to be national child abuse prevention partners so the message could reach a wider audience.

Julia Simens normal 1

Notes: adapted from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families

Preventing Child Maltreatment and Promoting Well-Being: A Network for Action 2012 Resource Guide or find additional resources on Information Gateway
National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds. (2011). Parent ambassadors: A parent’s guide to participation using the strengthening families approach. http://www.ctfalliance.org/images/pdfs/TN_ParentGuide.pdf (PDF – 1823 KB).
The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. (2010).Teaching your child to identify and express emotions. http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/documents/teaching_emotions.pdf (PDF – 2774 KB).
ZERO TO THREE. Tips on nurturing your child’s social-emotional development.
http://main.zerotothree.org/site/PageServerpagename=ter_key_social_socemottips&AddInterest=1157

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