Saturday, November 27, 2010

Looking for Kids who Help Kids

Thanksgiving and the upcoming Holiday season always makes me want to do more for others. It also makes me want to write about those that do for others, particularly kids helping kids. But I need your help.

If you know of a child or teen who is dealing with a serious illness but goes above and beyond to help other kids who have an illness or other need, please let me know who those special kids are. I want to write a book about just those kind of children.

Kindness and giving seems to make a difference in the healing and the pain for those who give. And I know there are kids in every state that have their own foundations, have their own charity projects, or in some way help other children. Can you share those with me? I have a vision for what could be a great book project to encourage, promote, and even raise awareness and funds for these kids. I want to interview each child or teen and get their perspective on giving and how that makes them feel. What great stories are out there and need to be told.

Let me hear from you about those kids you know who have made a difference beyond their own illness. I can't wait to get started, how about you?

Friday, November 26, 2010

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Happy Thanksgiving

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Happy Thanksgiving: "Thanksgiving is the time to express gratitude for the blessings of the past year. How do you go about helping children to understand that..."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Books for Kids on Grief or Loss

Parents may not think talking to a child about death and dying is a top priority when all is well with the world. I think the topic might be introduced by reading a good picture book dealing with the subject with your child well before the child has their first experience with loss. However you choose to deal with the subject, meaning now or not until the time comes, here are a few good books to read with your child to help you with the discussion.

Teachers, parents, and grandparents may choose to  use one or more of the following books  when helping a child deal with grief. Check with your pastor, librarian, or physician for other suggestions.

1. When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child's Guide to Good Grief  by Victoria Ryan and R.W. Alley

2. Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children by Doris Stickney

3. I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas and Leslie Harker

4. What On Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies? by Trevor Romain

5. Sad Isn't Bad- A Good -Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss by Michaelene Mundy

6. When Someone Very Special Dies by Marge Heegaard

7. Always my Brother by Jean Reagan

8. Punk Wig by Lori Ries

This list is a start. I think it is helpful when parents are able to review books and open a discussion in an age appropriate way long before a child experiences their first loss. Grief and loss are painful for both the parent and the child. A basic understanding about family values regarding death and dying and an introduction to the reality of life and death may ease the situation when death comes as an unexpected crisis, as it most often does. Let me know what you think or share in the comment section how your family handles this topic. Blessings to those dealing with a loss today.

Friday, November 12, 2010

C. Hope Clark: Writing for the Christian Children's Market - Gues...

I can't wait to read Kathleen's new book. I am hoping it will help me with my prayer book for kids with cancer. The Cancer Prayer Book for adults that I have written is due out in Jan 2011. But I fully believe that Kids need one too. What do you think?

C. Hope Clark: Writing for the Christian Children's Market - Gues...: "Kathleen Muldoon is a retired journalist and current instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature and also for local continuing edu..."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things to Consider This Holiday.....

It's a fact, the holidays are already upon us and some of you may be feeling the pressure of what foods to make, what gifts to buy, and where you will find the time and money to do all the things that YOU think you need to do for the holidays. If you have a sick family member especially a child, it is time consuming and only adds to your stressed out feelings this time of year. Consider this....

It takes from 5 hours to 25 hours to prepare a Thanksgiving meal that is eaten in less than 7 minutes.

Baking, wrapping, shopping, and cooking take up the better part of two months and the gifts are unwrapped in less than 60 seconds, and the percentage that are returned in the 24 hours after the holiday is staggering.

Those facts alone make you want to reconsider how you spend your time and money. Remember that time spent with a loved one can more than make up for a store bought gift. Several small  gatherings over finger foods and cookies can be more relaxing than one big bash that exhausts the hostess.

What works for your family and your situation is what your holiday should entail. Don't let the media or well intended relatives dictate how you spend the holidays this year especially if you are dealing with a sick loved one during this time. And don't feel pressured to spend more than you have just because it is the holiday.

1. Make your holiday meaningful by giving smaller token gifts to family and friends . It is less expensive and will show how much you care. A special ornament, your prize homemade fudge, a bottle of wine, or unique picture frame make wonderful small gifts.

2. Be prepared for the kinks in the month that are sure to come. The unexpected fever, a hospitalization, or any number of health related incidents can come up when you have a sick child. Don't let those ruin your holiday spirit, instead roll with it. The holidays are the holiday when you can be with family and enjoy... if it doesn't happen on the scheduled day don't fret.

3. Homemade gifts are wonderful and thoughtful. Spending time with the kids making cookie mixes and layering them in jars is one way to get the gifts done, involve the kids, and spend quality time at home. There are many good recipes online and in cookbooks for layer cookie mixes, soup mixes, and dips.

4. Books make great gifts as hostess gifts, thank you gifts, or teacher gifts and gifts for family members too. Check out the discount sections of your local book store for great bargins for both adults and children.

5. Family first... keeping that motto during the holiday can be the best advice you ever get. What is best for your child's health and the well being of your family should be the most important item on your holiday list. Don't feel guilty if you need to say no to events or parties that will just put too much pressure on you at this time.

6. Allow others to offer to help and then allow yourself to accept it graciously. If a neighbor or grandparent offers to sit with your sick child for a few hours to give you some time to attend to holiday things with the other members of your family, do it and don't feel the guilt.

Most of all, parents of a child who is seriously ill during the holiday season already feel the pressure. Keep things simple. Quality time together may mean a holiday in the hospital, but that's what works this year. Let go of past expectations and grab the golden ring of this holiday. Be grateful, spend time in conversation, and love each other. Isn' that what really makes the holidays so special in the end?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Cold and Flu Tips for Moms and the Kids they Love

Here is a great post about cold and flu symptoms. Check it out.

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Cold and Flu Tips for Moms and the Kids they Love: "Cold and Flu season is upon us and it will be one of the most trying times in family life....when the little ones get sick. Here are a few t..."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Tips from Stanley and Tyke on Gratitude

SFC Blog: Families Matter: Tips from Stanley and Tyke on Gratitude: "Fall is upon us. The air is crisper. The wind is cooler. And around the world, people everywhere are bundling up to face the elements. Here ..."