One of the most common struggles parents face is playing with their children. For some, it just doesn’t come natural to be playful with kids. Often, we are too heavy on structure or correction because it’s what we think our kids need. But what if it were possible to teach our kids certain needed skills WHILE playing and having fun with them?
All of the activities below will meet your kids’ needs in some capacity. They will also help break up those long, dreaded indoor days!
“Stick Together.” “No hurts.” “Have fun” (Theraplay ®). These are three very simple phrases that guide our Kids’ Connection Group at Holt-Sunny Ridge. In July and August of 2016, eight adopted children, ages 7-11, gathered once a week for five weeks to connect, learn and have fun. The group is founded on six main components: Rules, Check-in, Band-Aids, Activity, Feeding and Closing. These concepts are adapted from both Theraplay ® and Trust-Based Relational Intervention ®. The concepts help children learn skills that meaningful relationships are built upon: the ability to give care, the ability to seek and receive care, the ability to practice autonomy and the ability to negotiate needs.
The Empowered to Connect conference is designed to help adoptive and foster parents, ministry leaders and childcare professionals learn to connect with children who have experienced grief or trauma — children who come, as Dr. Purvis says, from “hard places.” The conference will offer hands-on, practical tips to engage with and support at-risk children — helping them heal and reach their full potential.
One of the things parents can easily miss in raising their children of color is racism. Children of color experience it much earlier than we might think. The curious preschooler often experiences differences among each other as a novelty, something to celebrate. Somewhere around age 5 or 6, however, celebration can turn to taunting. Every day, the media bombards us with confrontations over race, religion, orientation and other polarizing differences. These events may seem very distant from your neighborhood, but smaller confrontations are happening every day right in your community.
These smaller confrontations have a name: microaggressions.
The first snowfall of the year helped us to enjoy one of our very favorite events of the holiday season — Cookies With Santa! It was truly a warm, festive time together with lots of photos, cookies, sugar-highs and laughs.
Cookies With Santa is a time-honored Sunny Ridge tradition, an event that for years and years has united the Sunny Ridge family of birth parents, adoptees and adoptive families. We are so happy to continue this event as Holt-Sunny Ridge.
Some of the little ones were celebrating their very first Christmas, and they didn’t know quite what to think of Santa! Some of the older kids were equally apprehensive, but didn’t hesitate to whisper their Christmas wishes in his ear, or even deliver to him special handwritten notes.
Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and came out to celebrate with us. We look forward to continuing this Holt-Sunny Ridge tradition for many years to come!