Tag Archives: Parenting

Feeling Socially Isolated?

Want to know how other parents are surviving?

Overwhelmed parent

Join  PCLG’s Parent Support Group ONLINE.

Meeting: Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00pm

This support group offers a safe place where you can share the ups and downs of parenting a child with mental health challenges – Connection and support is especially important in these challenging times!

Here’s how to participate:

  • Topic: Parent Catalyst Leadership Group
  • Time: Apr 2, 2020 07:00-8:00 PM Central Time
  • Join Zoom Meeting
  • https://zoom.us/j/198376991 (Cut and paste the link into your web browser, you do NOT need the app to join the meeting but you do need to approve the “launching” of the meeting.)
  • Meeting ID: 198 376 991
  • One tap mobile for cell phone or tablet use:
  • +13126266799,,198376991# US (Chicago)
  • If you computer doesn’t have audio, call the number below:
  •         +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
  • Meeting ID: 198 376 991

Can’t make this date/time? Join our 24/7 private support group on Facebook and let us know what works best for you! Hennepin County PCLG Support Group 

Self Care for Parents and Caregivers

PCLG is excited to announce our first WRAP for Parents and Caregivers!

original

“WRAP has helped me find my own value and peace as a person, not just a parent.” –LV

PCLG will be hosting Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) training for parents and caregivers.  This two-day training includes peer support and a safe environment with the focus on YOU.  We will explore new ways of looking at care-giving and share challenges and coping strategies. Participants will be able to identify helpful resources and return home with a toolkit to guide them through tough moments.

Free for parents & caregivers of children with mental illness in Hennepin County.

  • November 17 and 18th
  • 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Lunds & Byerly’s Community Room
  • 3777 Park Center Blvd, St. Louis Park

Limited space available. Course materials and lunch will be provided. 

Register online

Questions? Email hcpclg@yahoo.com

Coffee and Conversation with PCLG

coffee-conversation

We want to hear from you!  Join PCLG Parents next month for coffee, refreshments, and conversation. Learn about the opportunities for advocacy, connections, and training available to parents who choose to become PCLG catalysts.  Bring your questions about interacting with your child’s school, finding providers, or accessing services through the county. We especially want to hear from parents of preschool and grade school children, but all are welcome!

  • Saturday, August 12, 2017
  • 10 – 11:30 am
  • Augsburg Park Library Meeting Room (NOTE: New location!)
  • 7100 Nicollet Ave, RichfieldFree, but please RSVP.  Children are welcome, but please let us know ages and how many to expect!

Secondary Trauma and Self Care

Raising children is challenging enough when everything is in place, but if a child has emotional, behavioral, or developmental disabilities, our lives can be very complicated.  We love our kids and delight in their strength areas, but outbursts or other difficulties might also frame our lives and those of our other children. Families may struggle from the effects of secondary trauma and stress, and balancing the needs of all of our children while still taking care of ourselves is a challenge.

carol-siegel Dr. Carol Siegel, PhD, LP, is a licensed clinical psychologist who sees both adults and children in her practice.  Her primary clinical focus is parenting. Her diverse experience includes expressive arts, autism, neuropsychological assessment, and child neuropsychology.  She focuses on how parents navigate the developmental challenges of childhood and how parents’ experiences affect the development of their children.

  • April 5, 2017
  • 6:30 -7:45 pm  Workshop & Discussion
  • Hosmer Library, Meeting Room
  • 347 East 36th Street
  • Minneapolis, MN

This event is free, but please register online or email us at hcpclg@yahoo.com.

Parenting Challenges: Taking Care of Yourself

 

Register Today!        November 2, 2016 – 6:30 pm

PCLG is sponsoring a free workshop for parents and caregivers this fall.   Join us for light refreshments and a chance to meet other parents while learning about how to take care of yourself! 

Parenting a child with emotional, behavioral, or developmental disabilities can be challenging.  Parents and caregivers often report exhaustion, financial strain, and feelings of isolation. The perception of stigma can increase the sense of burden and isolation that our families feel as well.

Dr. Elizabeth Reeve will share her unique insight into the effects that stress caElizabeth 2n have on parents and ways that we can learn to reduce its impact on us. Participants will learn:

  • What is stress?
  • The effects of chronic stress
  • Unique stressors for parents
  • Ways to reduce stress

 

  • Woodlake Nature Center
  • 6710 Lake Shore Drive
  • Richfield, MN

This event is FREE, but please register!

Outside the Box: Summer Activities for All Kinds of Kids and Teens

Summer can be a great time for kids to take a break from the pressures of school, explore their strengths and interests, or just have fun with friends.  Finding things for kids to do over the summer is a challenge for every family, but it is Summer Fall 2011 Etc 322particularly difficult for our families.  Sensory issues, anxiety, attention problems, fine and gross motor problems, or the potential for outbursts can be barriers for our children’s participation in many activities.

 But don’t give up!  It’s so important for our kids to be involved in their community. We are listing below lots of ideas to help you get started.  In this issue, we have low cost activities for families, fun and affordable ideas for kids, special swim lessons, and opportunities for teens.

A few fun and affordable ideas for kids:

IDEAS FOR TEENS

Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

Minneapolis Parks & Recreation

Programs for Teens

  •  Youthline Outreach Mentorship
  • Youthline engages youth ages 12-16 in positive leadership experiences and recreational activities while connecting them to adult mentors in the parks.
  • Teen Teamworks
  • Teen Teamworks is a summer employment and educational program for youth ages 14-18.
  • Nite Owlz
  • Nite Owlz provides extended teen programming at various recreation centers from 8-11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Activities may include open gym, cooking, computer labs and more. Contact a neighborhood recreation center for details.
  • IDEAWERKS
  • IDEAWERKS is for youth ages 12-18 to learn multimedia production; record audio and video information on a digital media workstation; study music basics and computer software to create music tracks and videos; and produce and record individual multimedia projects.

Thoughts of a 10 Year Old Girl – “What I Would Change”

One of our families shared with us the writing of a 10 year old girl, whose older sister has bipolar disorder.  We were so moved by this story that we thought we’d share it with you. Image

The first day when my sister went to the hospital, I felt bad for her and I was scared what was going to happen.  And then I started feeling left out.  Sometimes people would give me presents to make me feel better, but it didn’t really help, because they don’t realize that I don’t need presents, I want their attention.

I feel like I don’t get a chance to “stick out” in my life.  Because everyone is busy with my sister’s problems and no one cares about what I have been through.

I’ve been through some horrible scenes like when my sister is screaming at my parents and running away, calling people swear words. My sister puts me down a lot: she calls me names and makes fun of me. When she does this, I feel sad and it makes me feel like she doesn’t care about me.  She’s always focused on what she’s been through but she never realizes what I’ve been through.

Whenever there is a severe meltdown, it scares me a lot.

I wish that I would have a sister that would play with me and not be too busy for me, and that would be nice to me.  I feel lost because I always wanted to have a friend in the house but I do have my two cats.

Living with a sister with a mental illness is hard because other people don’t go through what I go through and I have to get used to it.  It’s hard to live with because sometimes you just can’t take it anymore.  Because you have just had enough and you want all the yelling and loudness to stop. It feels like living with a bully in the house and it feels like they don’t care about you and they only think about themselves and what they have been through and not what me or my parents are going through.

Sometimes at stores when she has a fit, it is really embarrassing and I try to run away.

One day I hope that all the siblings will have a day or a chance to stick up for themselves and be able to get more attention and have a lot of time to have fun with their brother or sister.

If I could change something I would change that my sister would pay more attention to me and let me have more attention than her sometimes.

What Parents Wish For

ImageWe’ve been listening to stories from parents about the process of discovering and treating their child’s mental illness.  It’s inspiring to hear and see how so many parents are able to progress from feeling lost and overwhelmed to finding services and solutions for their kids, but the journey is never easy.  When we asked what could have made that process better, here are some things we heard:

Single Point of Entry – Once parents know they need to get some help, they have no idea where to turn.  Many report having made multiple phone calls with many dead ends. They are also surprised by how many applications and assessments they have to complete before their child can start getting help.  Parents say they wish there were one phone number to call and also some sort of guide to help them understand eligibility and other rules.

School Based Mental Health – Symptoms of mental illness often show up in the school setting where our kids spend a lot of their day.  Having a licensed, trained clinician on site at a school can make a big difference in the diagnosis and ongoing treatment of kids.  Parents don’t have to take time off work or take their kids out of school in order to drive to a therapy session.  Kids whose parents don’t have cars have much better access to services.  Moreover, these “in-house” clinicians can play a vital role in educating teachers and staff about techniques that work for each individual.

Hospital Services – When their child is in crisis, parents wish they could find appropriate emergency help that is close to home.  Due to the scarcity of hospital beds for mental health emergencies, children and youth can be sent to facilities that are hours away from home. Sometimes, young children can be sent to teen wards or teens to adult wards.  Moreover, there are often no facilities for families to stay nearby.

Stigma and Judgment – Parents often wish that they had learned more and acted sooner to get help for their child.  They wish that others had spoken out to encourage them to seek help, and not tried to “make them feel better” by minimizing their child’s symptoms. When they did seek help, parents wish that professionals would not immediately assume that they are bad parents or they are at fault. They wish to be listened to respectfully.

Normal or Not Normal? Part 2

ImageWhen Parents of School-Aged Kids Should Seek Help

Parenting children through their school-aged years can be exciting and fulfilling, but also frustrating.  You may delight as you watch them grow, but you may not always know how to help them through challenges. Remember that childhood is not always rosy, and our kids can be confronting difficult issues like bullying, problems with schoolwork, and peer pressure.

How our kids are responding to the normal stresses of elementary and middle school years is important to know.  The guide below should help parents to consider what types of behavior are considered normal and when behaviors should be of concern.

NORMAL FOR SCHOOL AGED KIDS

NOT NORMAL FOR SCHOOL AGED KIDS

Sometimes not wanting to go to school
  • Actively and continually resisting going to school;
  • Routinely crying about school or having tremendous anxiety about school.
  • Skipping school
Not excited about schoolwork
  • Declining school performance
  •  Getting very behind in schoolwork
  • Easily distracted or unable to pay attention
Growing awareness of and some anxiety about external peer and school pressures, as well as broader issues such as spirituality and world events.
  • Extreme, obsessive or long-term anxiety that interferes with eating, sleeping, or other daily living activities.
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches that don’t seem to have a medical cause.
Body changes and awareness of sexuality
  • Sexual acting out that is inappropriate for a child’s age
Some mood swings
  • Having “up” or “down” moods that last for several weeks at a time;
  • Experiencing a dramatic personality change;
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Talking about death or suicide
Testing out behaviors and taking risks
  • Displaying patterns of lying, cheating and/or stealing
  • Aggressive or hurtful behavior, fighting or bullying
  • Recklessness to the point of endangering self or others
  • Substance abuse

Sources: Minnesota Department of Human Services; University of Maryland Medical Center

Normal or Not Normal? When Parents Should Seek Help

 NEWS FLASH: My teenager is driving me crazy!Image

OK.  I pretty much hear that all the time from my friends. I have two teens right now, and life is often like an exhausting roller coaster ride.  They are “coming in to their own” and asserting their independence, but they also need guidance.  I find myself in a precarious balancing act between letting them learn through experience, but also keeping them safe. And when I see troubling behavior, I often feel at a loss as to what to do.  Do I dismiss it as a normal part of adolescence or is it a warning sign that something is very wrong?

Often, troubling behaviors are a question of degree.  For example, many teenagers experience stress, but then bounce back quickly.  The question you should ask yourself is, “Does the stress interfere with my child’s daily living and functioning?”

As a general guide, I’ve listed below some “normal” and “not normal” behaviors.  I’ve borrowed heavily from the folks at the American Psychological Association to give it more authoritative heft.

But the most important thing of all is that you talk to your child and keep lines of conversation open.  This means you need to do MUCH more listening than talking.  If you have a nagging feeling that something is really not right with your child, please seek out professional help.  You are not alone.

NORMAL FOR TEENS

NOT NORMAL FOR TEENS

Arguing for the sake of arguing Being overly aggressive or violent; Abandoning long-time friendships;
Jumping to conclusions Thinking everyone is judging them negatively; Not trusting anyone
Being  self-centered Becoming isolated; Not wanting to leave one’s room; Having very low self-esteem
Finding faults with adults Being openly hostile to adults on consistent basis; Being unremittingly defiant
Being overly dramatic Displaying overly fearful reactions; Crying excessively; Injuring self;
Having mood swings Having “up” or “down” moods that last for several week; Experiencing a dramatic personality change; Dropping activities that used to be fun; Declining school performance
Experiencing stress Having so much fear or anxiety that it interferes with daily living; Having lots of physical complaints like stomach aches, joint pain, headaches or dizziness, problems with sleeping, and feeling fatigued;
Taking risks Committing crimes; Abusing drugs or alcohol; Endangering self or others; Being promiscuous;