KiDSCOR

Category - Parenting Resources

Mental Health Awareness Month

By Lisa Holliday

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this month we will also acknowledge Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

The number of young people, along with their families, who are affected by mental health disorders is significant.  The current estimate is that one in every five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder that can be identified and require treatment. These mental health disorders can include, but are not limited to, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive, panic and bipolar. Without treatment, the consequences of these disorders can include school failure, lack of social connections, criminal justice involvement and even suicide.

Families, schools and faith organizations can work together to serve the children and families affected by these disorders. At Church of the Resurrection, we offer ways to receive help for mental health needs. Play therapy is offered on a limited basis through KiDSCOR for children ages 3-12. (For more information on this, contact Rev. Lisa Holliday at lisa.holliday@cor.org.)  Congregational Care offers “Live Forward” each Thursday evening which includes a meal, worship and classes for support and education. Therapists and counselors in the schools and wider community can also offer immeasurable help and support.

If your child and family struggle with one or more of these disorders, please know you are not alone AND it is not your fault.  Your church and God are here to help you.  Please reach out if you need support. You are and will be accepted, loved and cared for on this journey.

Short Term Resolutions

By Denise Mersmann

Here we are . . . just a few weeks into the new year and we can hear the sound of resolutions crashing all around us.

For some, setting New Year’s resolutions is a lifelong practice, an enjoyable way to reflect on the past year and head off on a new trail of self-improvement. For others, it can be huge burden that makes us feel guilty if we choose not to set resolutions; I mean really isn’t that like saying “I’m pretty good with the way I am and not looking to improve myself over the next 365 days”?

But is that annual life reset really beneficial? What does it really do to our emotional health when we greet Valentine’s Day with the realization that we are already wandering off our new self-improvement trail? And once we realize that we are off track, do we take a “do over” or just throw in the towel until next New Year’s Eve?

As parent’s we have the opportunity, and some obligation, to help our kids learn to access their lives and set goals to be the very best they can be. But what does “a year” look like to a pre-K kiddo or even an elementary school child? It looks like a really, really long time and is actually not something most kids can really comprehend.

Recent studies have shown that greater success can be achieved using short term goals, even if those are set to achieve a long term resolution. And, as we all know, everything is better if we can celebrate and have fun along the way.

There are many great ways to make goal-setting a fun, positive and beneficial family activity. Consider setting a “do better” program using holidays and celebrations that are already in place as your target date.

Perhaps set a family goal to “be a good sport” from now until the Super Bowl. That “good sport” goal could include not getting frustrated when things don’t go the way we want, playing our best in sports and being a good teammate or smiling when we might want to yell. After we celebrate our “good sport” success on Super Bowl Sunday, let’s look at how we can show love to others until Valentine’s Day. Maybe celebrate how well we showed love with a heart shaped cookie after dinner or pink pancakes for breakfast.

However you choose to look ahead in 2016, always remember that no matter what goals we set or how well we do at achieving them God loves us and that is something to celebrate every day all year long!

Follow KiDSCOR on Twitter @kidscorleawood and Instagram for other fun ways to set and celebrate family goals all year long!

Helping Kids During Tragedy

candles

After the events of Sunday. Here are some thoughts from Pastor Lisa Holliday about helping our kids through tragedy.

The news this week out of our beloved city is tragic and devastating.  People are asking, “Why?”  We are wondering, “If this can happen to them, can it happen to us, too?”  We are questioning safety and security in all sorts of ways.   We may be questioning our faith.

We are also grieving. We are grieving for the families impacted by the death of a loved one. We are grieving for the Jewish community and our church community. We are grieving for the sense of our own loss of safety and security.  We are grieving for our children and the effects this kind of tragedy has on their lives and the world in which they are living.

As we ask many unanswerable questions and experience grief, it is important for us to remember that if our children have heard the story, they have questions and are possibly grieving as well.  As Christians, we will want to respond to our children in faith and with a deep sense of love and respect for all people.  Below you will find ways to connect with your child and help him or her work through thoughts and feelings surrounding the tragedy.

Listen  
If your children want to express themselves by speaking, let them use their own words. As they voice their thoughts, they may be able to bring some order to what they are thinking and feeling. You may also become aware of misinterpretations or false information.

Pray
Listen first so you have a sense of what the child is feeling, then pray. Pray for the families, the emergency workers, our Jewish friends, the teachers and the students. Pray for our own community. Pray to be a person of peace. Pray to be one who shares Christ’s love and compassion with others.

Keep routines
As much as possible, stick with your family routine.  Let your child know if the routine needs to change.

Accept feelings
Your children may be sad, mad, guilty, nervous or angry. Acknowledge that these experiences cause us to feel many different ways and God loves us no matter how we are feeling.  As God accepts our feelings, it is important we accept the feelings of our children as well.  (Many children may not express these until weeks or even months later.) If your child seems happy, accept that, too.

Offer and accept affection
Your children may want to snuggle or hug more often.  They may want you next to them while they fall asleep.

Be truthful and real
Children know when we are being authentic.  They need to be able to trust what you say.  When they ask a difficult question to which you don’t know the answer, let them know you don’t know. Tell them many questions don’t have answers and that is hard for everyone.  Tell them you are working on this, too. You can pray for God to help you all.

Remember your reactions are yours
Children pick up words, actions, body language, facial expressions and emotions very easily.  Be cautious with what you say and how you say it, as well as what you do.

Assure them you will help keep them safe.
Mention a few ways you work to stay safe as a family.  If appropriate, let your child know the safety procedures in school and at church.  Remind them God is always with them wherever they are. Be very careful about promising you always will be.  Though we certainly hope we will always be present for our children, the reality is that none of us truly know.

Remind your children this was NOT from God  
Bad things happen in the world.  People choose to do bad things.  God did not want this to happen.  God is with each person who is sad and grieving.  Because we have God, we can have hope.  The worst thing is never the last thing.

Limit media
Children who are repeatedly exposed to a tragic event on the news actually believe the tragedy continues to occur over and over again.  They often learn much more information than what is age-appropriate.  Images can also cause nightmares and extreme anxiety.

Offer creative ways of expression
Often children cannot express their thoughts and feelings in words.  Instead they play, color, draw, or write.  They use sand and playdough.  Keep these materials available to them.

Respond simply
When your child asks a question, respond in a simple way.  Answer the question without giving extensive additional information.

Share a gift
Often kids need to do something tangible to help others as they deal with their grief. Your child might want to make a card or bake some treats to share with a neighbor.  Encourage your child to share the love and compassion of Christ with those at school, in their neighborhood, in sports/dance teams and other places they go.

This Easter season, we are reminded that Christ is Light of the World and the darkness has not and will not ever, ever overcome it. May we all be assured of God’s love for each of us and for the world.  Our hope is now and forevermore in Him. No matter what our age, we need to hear that good news!

If you have further questions, or you are particularly concerned about how your child is handling the news of this or any difficulty, please feel free to contact Rev. Lisa Holliday, Minister of Children and Their Families at lisa.holliday@cor.org or any of our KiDS COR staff listed at kidscor.org. We are here to support you through prayer, resources and personal connections.  We wish you and your family the peace, comfort and hope of Christ this season and always.

-Pastor Lisa

Family Faith Chest

During your child’s time in KiDS COR, he or she will experience five faith passages from birth/adoption through 5th grade.  There will be items that you will want to get or they will receive through the years.  This box is meant to keep them as well as be used on a regular basis!
Please click HERE to see the attached document for details on the Family Faith Chest.
The best part…you decorate your own!  Have fun!

Talking To Your Kids About Disasters

This weekend KiDS COR will be praying for the people of Joplin as well as making pictures and small care packages to send down to the kids of Joplin.

A question that always pops in my mind after these events is how to talk to kids about them, not only my own kids but also those that will be attending Sunday school. Do you just ignore discussing it all together or at what age is it appropiate to initiate a discussion with kids about natural disasters. No doubt many elementary kids see the pics & videos on TV or the computer.
Here are a couple of links that may be helpful in responding not only to Joplin but to other disasters in the future.
First, a link to article written by Pastor Adam geared for adults to help us make sense of what is happening.
Second, a couple of articles written by Pastor Dale Hudson a Children’s Pastor in Florida. Talking to Children About Disasters Part 1 and Part 2

I was able to chat with my 3 year old boys about this on Saturday afternoon when we brought cases of water to church with us. They wanted to know “why?” We talked about the bad storms that came and how people needed water to drink because there faucets were broken because of the storm. Nothing too intense but they understood we were helping people in need.

Anyone out there have any tips, suggestions, or stories about this? Did you chat with your child about the Tornado in Joplin did your children initiate a conversation. Feel free to leave a comment and begin a conversation.
-Nick Ransom

Friday Faith Builders


Spring has sprung! Enjoy a nature walk with your child. Listen to the sounds of the bugs and birds. Smell the flowers and delight in their colors and shapes. Soak in the sun and splash in the rain puddles. Taste the fresh fruits and veggies. Use all of your senses to celebrate and rejoice in God and God’s creation. Give thanks to God for His many blessings.
-Pastor Lisa

Friday Faith Builders

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! As we celebrate Easter, commit to praising God continuously as a family. Choose some favorite Christian CD’s to play often at home and in the car. If you play instruments or sing, use those gifts to make joyful noises to the Lord! Maybe someone in your family dances or cheers—glorify God in those ways. Praise God by growing to know, love and serve Him more deeply. Keep the joy and hope of Easter in your home and lives all year long. Post a comment and let us know how you celebrate easter.

Faith Passages

We are so excited to share with you the Parenting the Faith Journey Kids COR Faith Passages. These passages are designed to lead you through your child’s faith journey and give you ideas and guidance to keep their hearts growing and deepen their love for God.
Please see the overview for all ages HERE.
Continue to look for new ideas, tips and information regarding their faith journey!
HAPPY EASTER!

Friday Faith Builders


As parents and adult caregivers, you are the most important influencers in your children’s spiritual lives. They are watching and listening to you as you grow in faith and as you guide them in God’s ways. Are you taking time to read the Bible with them? How is your prayer life? Are you making worship attendance a priority? No doubt our lives as parents are busy, busy, busy. Remember to spend time with God as individuals and as a family. You and your children will be blessed beyond measure!