It has been a year like no other, we’ve all found new ways to bring people together, even when we are physically apart. As we move toward the end of the year, it appears as though the stress on people raising people is getting even more intense with schools moving to online learning.
We’ve put together a checklist to strengthen your family and the families around you before the end of the year to help spread positivity this holiday season.
25 Ways to Strengthen Families Before the End of the Year
1. Listen to someone who needs to talk about what is going on in their life. Check in with a mother or father to see how they are doing.
2. Pick one stressed out parent that you know, find out if they have any allergies in their home and tell them you have got dinner covered. Doordash makes it pretty easy to have dinner delivered these days. You can’t put a price on this kind of support, and they will appreciate the kindness from people they trust.
3. Organize a neighborhood party so families can connect safely on Zoom.
4. Ask a family if they need something picked up the next time you run to the store.
5. Schedule time for an activity that can help you decompress, relax and recharge. Take a quite bath, try Bloom Yoga or take a walk and listen to your favorite song.
6. Join a parent support group to find other parents like you. Parents we are only human and we need each other. If your work isn’t offering a parent support group, share the online Circle of Parents groups and invite others to join.
7. Shovel snow. It is one less thing that you can take off a parent’s plate in your neighborhood.
8. Donate gently used children’s clothing, furniture and toys to another family or buy a few arts and crafts activities for a family with a little one.
9. Share positive stories about people, businesses or community programs helping families, especially if you have benefitted from someone else’s kindness. Kindness spreads and sharing stories is one way to breakdown stigma often attached to underutilized programs and services.
10. Share information about parenting and child development on your social media. When you find something that works for your kids, navigate a challenge or simply learn something new about those early years of brain development, share it with others. You never know who needs to hear it.
11. Organize a parents’ night out or Zoom play date. Everyone has to take a break sometime.
12. Add information about family-friendly resources on neighborhood websites on Nextdoor and help reduce stigma by letting others know you received support.
13. Remind people on social media it’s okay to ask and accept for support parenting. No one can do it alone.
14. Recognize a family in distress and don’t just offer support, give it. Take things off someone’s plate. Lead a fundraising effort for a family. If you are lucky enough to have not been impact significantly by this pandemic, pay it forward.
15. Promote a culture where it is okay for employees to reach out and ask for support and share community resources that support families.
16. Participate in an employee assistance program or maintain a list of available resources to support families.
17. Work with employees to manage workload in times of added stress and allow for flexibility for parents trying to balance work and online learning.
18. Create a community brag board so employees can show off kids, pets, holiday decorations homes and hobbies.
19. Offer “lunch and learns” for employees or host a speaker to learn more about child development, stress management and child abuse prevention.
20. Involve your organization in community events or sponsor a day of service for employees. There are countless organizations doing amazing work for families right now. Donate to a food bank, collect books and learning activities for families.
21. If this year has shown us anything it is that unexpected challenges like a job loss or illness can come at anytime. Learn about services for children and families in your community and make an emergency preparedness plan in case your family needs support. In getting your family prepared, you may learn more about how you can connect a friend or family to support as well.
22. Be kind to parents posting on social media. Never shame parents online, especially when they are being vulnerable. Post a word of encouragement letting someone else know you are thinking of them.
23. Light your luminary on Saturday, December 5th to let your community know you are committed to build brighter childhoods.
24. Share your commitment to prevention with members of your community to inspire others to online using the #LightTheWayCO complete the Light Way entry form every day to earn your points for every action you promoting prevention.
25. Post a picture or mention us on social media using #LightTheWayCO and let us know how you are bringing prevention to life by taking action to strengthen your families and the families around you. It doesn’t need to be on this lists. There are many ways to promote prevention. Think of more, post and we’ll share across Colorado.
Countdown to Light The Way
We’ve also created a fun way to recognize those who are illuminating prevention through your actions everyday to light the way to building brighter childhoods. Try one of the 25+ ways to strengthen families each day before the end of the year and earn a point. We’ll announce point totals for community members lighting the way on December 31st.