Tag Archives: Parents

PCLG Coffee & Conversation with CANA

coffee-conversation

  • Saturday, November 11, 2017
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Creekview Recreation Center, Multipurpose Room
  • 5001 Humboldt Avenue North, Minneapolis

Are you raising a child who faces mental health challenges? We want to hear from you! Join the Center for Africans Now in America (CANA) and Parent Catalyst Leadership Group (PCLG)  for a chance to connect and converse over coffee and refreshments. All are welcome!

We will talk about interacting with your child’s school, working with health providers, and accessing services through the county.  What are the special challenges facing families new to our region?  

  • Free, but we ask you to RSVP.
  • Interpreter will be provided.
  • Children are welcome, but please let us know how many and what ages.

For more information, contact:

 

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!

Cabin Fever? Some Free Activities for Families

 

Lake Harriet Kite Festival

And just for fun on a winter day… the Lake Harriet Kite Festival       Saturday, January 16, Noon to 4 pm

Let’s face it.  Kids need to get out of the house and explore their world, but it isn’t always easy to navigate an activity when you have a child who struggles with behavior or sensory issues.  I know I didn’t have the money to plunk down admission to a “family friendly” activity, only to find 15 minutes later that it was too overstimulating for my son and we had to leave because he was on the verge of a meltdown.

As a survival mechanism, I kept lists of free and “my family friendly” activities.  Below, I’ve listed some great opportunities here in Hennepin County that range from interactive Library storytimes to informal, kid friendly free classical music family concerts.  And even though this is January in Minnesota, there are plenty of great outdoor activities at the parks, many of which have great indoor nature centers where you can warm up, check out a salamander and touch some rabbit fur. You never know what might spark your child’s interest.

Hennepin County Libraries will be offering some “Act Out” interactive theater classes for kids and teens with Guthrie artists.

  • Tuesday, Jan 12, 4 – 5:30 pm, Storytelling
  • Webber Park Library, 4400 Dupont Ave N
  • Saturday, Jan 16, 2 – 3:30 pm, Playmaking
  • North Regional Library, 1315 Lowry Ave N
  • Saturday, Jan 23, 1 – 2:30 Creative Movement
  • Minnetonka Library, 17524 Excelsior Blvd
  • Saturday, Jan 23, 2 – 3:30 pm Storytelling
  • Roosevelt Library, 4026 28th Ave S
  • Monday, Jan 25, 6 -7:30 pm Storytelling
  • Edina Library, 5280 Grandview Square
  • Tuesday, Jan 26, 4-5:30 pm
  • Act Out for Teens: Costume Design Basics
  • Hosmer Library
  • Saturday, Jan 30, 10:30 – Noon
  • Act Out for Kids: Storytelling
  • Ridgedale Library
  • Saturday, Jan 30, 1 – 2:30 pm
  • Act Out for Teens: Intro to Physical Comedy
  • Excelsior Library

 Family Music ConcertsCheck out these free kid-friendly classical music concerts in informal settings.

 Free Days at Area Museums

  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts (always free
  • Bell Museum of Natural History (free on Sundays) dioramas and hands on activities
  • Minnesota Children’s Museum (free on 3rd Sunday of each month)

Parks and Nature Centers around Town:

 

PCLG ONLINE SUPPORT FOR PARENTS

Ever wished you could get support from other parents right from home when you most need it?facebook-vs-google-advertising

PCLG has launched a new private online support group via Facebook.  The Hennepin County PCLG Support Group is open to parents and caregivers of children and young adults with mental health challenges.  It’s a great place to ask questions, exchange tips and make connections with other parents!

To register: fbook4hcparents@gmail.com

How Are Some Students Raising Mental Health Awareness in Their High Schools?

PCLG parents have been spending some time these past few months learning about student-driven mental health awareness groups at area high schools.  It’s truly inspiring to hear how teenagers are leading efforts to erase stigma, create positive environments, and drive change in their schools and communities. Hats off to these students!Teensgroupcircle

Silver Ribbon Campaign (SRC)  – South High School, Minneapolis

SRC is a student-led group dedicated to supporting and educating students whose lives are touched by mental illness or who want to positively influence school culture.  SRC was founded 11 years ago by two students who had family members suffering from mental illness. SRC holds about 18 1-hour events throughout the year, most of which are held during the school day and involve invited speakers (students, teachers, and outside guests).

The group learns about mental health issues and has a field trip to the capitol each year to learn about advocacy and the legislative process.  Many students attend conferences and other meetings as representatives of SRC.

Silver Ribbon Club – Washburn High School, Minneapolis

The Silver Ribbon Campaign is a student led group focused on reducing stigma and raising awareness around mental illness issues. “We make it ok to talk about not being ok.”

Students  check in with each other and the group’s advisor at meetings but primarily work on planning mental health awareness activities, such as:

  • Guest speakers for students and also evening events for parents
  • Fidgety Fairy Tales performance
  • “Above the Influence” Campaign: Avoiding the pitfalls of peer pressure
  • Text number with free app for Washburn students to ask questions
  • Glass display case with information about depression and anxiety
  • Create of a video Public Service Announcement
  • Volunteered for other organizations that help teens with mental illness

HEART, Wayzata High School, Wayzata,MN

HEART is a student task formed a year ago by a student leader in response to a series of tragedies. Their main focus has been to create a positive school climate and raise mental health awareness, particularly for those students who might otherwise be overlooked or not connected to school activities.

They sponsored a Mental Wellness week, leveraging support from local businesses, the Student Council, National Honor Society and other existing student groups.

Activities included:

  • “Pay It Forward Day” – Students earned wristbands for doing good deeds
  • Professional and student panels and mental health workshops
  • Photo booth – Students held cards that answered the question “How do you do wellness?”

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.

How Do Other A-Typical Families Survive the Holidays?

holiday imageTips for Surviving the Holidays for Non-Typical Families

Holidays can be insidious for our families.  School breaks and cold weather keep our kids inside and boredom can become an issue. Kids like ours often don’t have lots of friends they can visit with or activities that can divert them.  Parents can get overwhelmed with the needs of their kids along with all the expectations, events, financial stresses, and additional chores that the holidays can bring.

Remember, it is defminitely OK to say “No”.  Don’t overschedule yourself or your children. It’s ok to turn down invitations to certain parties or events and do something less stressful like watching a movie at home or playing a board game. It’s really ok for kids to spend some time in a quiet space away from all the relatives and chatter.  Remember, relatives are often very supportive of any approach that will minimize having their holidays disrupted by tantrums and outbursts!

While you’re freeing yourself of too many engagements, keep in mind that you don’t have to be a Slave to Tradition. Maybe kids of other people’s families enjoy getting their picture taken on the lap of a stranger dressed like Santa, but not mine. Many of our kids can only keep it together in public for a little while, so make sure you are not overtaxing them or asking something of them that is just too overwhelming or distressing.

Lower Expectations: Don’t expect your holiday season or your children to be perfect.  I don’t know about you and yours, but my kids don’t smile or say all the right things on demand. For kids with a mental health issue or developmental disability, social niceties just don’t happen spontaneously.  For my son with autism, being around a lot of people at the holidays was very stressful. He did not enjoy opening gifts for a number of years.  Even now, he sometimes disappoints a relative by not showing the type of response to a gift that might be typical.  There could be hurt feelings .  On top of this, some relatives might make negative comments or judgments about the type of parents we were.  This is why it’s extremely important to develop a THICK SKIN.  You need to be able let some of these comments or observations just roll off your back.  They don’t live in your shoes and have no idea what works or doesn’t work with your kids.  You know best what your kids need to feel loved and supported.

Ultimately, the best way to survive the holidays is to take care of yourself and your family.  The rest will fall into place.

The Power of Story

Can your story change the world?  Change minds? Move others to action? Or do you find your audience looking bored and surreptitiously checking their phones?

If we want to do our part in raising awareness and reducing the stigma regarding mental illness in children, we need to be effective storytellers.  And if we want to advocate for our children , we need be able to communicate effectively with the professionals who work with them. If you just need to practice your “elevator speech,” or if you want to learn more about parent advocacy, join us for:

Parent Advocacy Workshop – “Telling Your Story So Others Will Listen”

  • DATE:             September 13, 2014   
  • TIME:              9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • LOCATION:     Oak Grove Middle School
  • Educational Services Building, Door C
  • 1300 West 106th Street, Kim KangBloomington, MN

Longtime disability advocate and legislative expert Kim Kang will be presenting. 

  • The power of story
  • How to tell your personal story
  • Effective communication
  • Meeting strategies
  • Organizing for change

Hosted by the Parent Catalyst Leadership Group (PCLG) of the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM), and Bloomington Public SchoolsThis event is free, but please register through PCLG at hcpclg@yahoo.com or online through  AUSM at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/telling-your-story-so-others-will-listen-tickets-12296726841