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Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Date of the Event: May 14, 2020 | MJ, Dr. Seth Shaffer, and Mariela Puentes
Father teaching his two children how to play basketball Show Notes:

This webinar features segments by MJ from Little Friends for Peace, and the Question Corner with child psychologist Dr. Seth Shaffer and education expert Mariela Puentes. We discussed ways to build peace in your family, how to be kind to one another, and ways to solve problems without fighting.

Jen: [00:00:00] All right. Welcome everyone to The Family Room. My name is Jen, I’m here in Chicago from Turning the Page and we’re excited to have everybody here. And we’re just going to hang out for a little while people come in. We know that we’ve got people joining us on zoom and on Facebook live, through the MAEC website and through the Turning the Page Facebook page.

So welcome and feel free to chime in in the chat box where you are coming...

Jen: [00:00:00] All right. Welcome everyone to The Family Room. My name is Jen, I’m here in Chicago from Turning the Page and we’re excited to have everybody here. And we’re just going to hang out for a little while people come in. We know that we’ve got people joining us on zoom and on Facebook live, through the MAEC website and through the Turning the Page Facebook page.

So welcome and feel free to chime in in the chat box where you are coming from and maybe what the weather is like as you were entering in the rooms. And get a little bit of community building and figure out who all is with us, even though we feel far away. We are all together here in this little room.

Yeah. Megan what are you seeing?

Megan: [00:00:49] Yeah. It looks like someone is in Illinois and it’s raining, which I believe, Jen, you talked about it a little bit earlier. Chicago…

And I can see these, Mississippi, it’s raining as well. Yeah. Those of you in Illinois? Did you wake up to the crazy thunder and lightning storms this morning? It was very dramatic, kind of seemed like an epic morning.

I also see a fellow DCer, Kate Talbot from Solutions in Hometown Connections in Washington DC. It is very cloudy here, but supposed to be beautiful tomorrow. It looks like Pittsburgh has also gotten the cloudy and 64.

Jen: [00:01:30] And then Michelle in Florida is experiencing 84 degrees and sunny. Very in…

Megan: [00:01:36] Wow, I wish I had that.

Calvert County, Maryland. Did you see that from Sylvia? It’s beautiful and sun shining. Hopefully that’ll come my way. [chuckles]

Jen: [00:01:44] I do like to hear how my colleagues are doing in the East Coast because I figure it’s all just going to come my way the next day so I can look forward to what’s coming.

Do you find, Megan or guests that the weather has been affecting your mood a lot more than it usually did? I feel very attuned to it these days.

Megan: [00:02:02] Well, absolutely. But as someone from Durham, North Carolina said, it’s sunny and beautiful sometimes on those days though,  I feel restless staying at home.

Jen: [00:02:12] Yeah, absolutely. I feel like my one, Kristen says, Oh my goodness. Yes. Yeah. I feel like the one exciting thing you can do is go for a walk. Right? So if it’s nice out and the trees are blossoming or somebody’s planted flowers someday, then you’re like, hi, I’m having a great day, and if it’s rainy, then I’m like, well, I guess I’ll watch a movie tonight.


Megan: [00:02:31] Yeah, it does look like San Antonio has a mix. So, they had early morning showers and out sunny and warm. Which is kind of the perfect way to start your day off with coffee, a slow beginning, and then as it gets moving to have a little bit better weather.

Jen: [00:02:47] Yeah, absolutely. Yup. Yes. Angela agrees with us that walking every day is important and the rain makes it less fun.

Sometimes I think that I’m like in a movie, you know, and it’s just really dramatic and moody and I can like play my soundtrack and like watch the montage of myself, but definitely has a big impact, which is apropos.

We’ll be talking a lot about, inner health and peace and ways to make it through this time. We’re all staying home to stay safe. So definitely apropos.

Probably just give it, maybe one more minute and then we’ll get going.

Megan: [00:03:22] It looks like we’ve got a couple of different participants coming in from Maryland, College Park. Also Talbot County, Maryland again, pretty cloudy with a slight breeze.

Jen: [00:03:34] Very nice.

Not bad. I’m looking forward to, Hopefully some sunshine soon. You know, those days when you see the forecast and it’s supposed to be five straight days of rain and you’re just like, no, what will become of us.

And it sounds like we are alive on one of our pages. Just getting the other one up, so we’ll just hang out a little bit longer and make sure that is up and running.

Megan: [00:03:57] Yeah. For those of us who joined last week, it’s exciting, we’re actually going to be able to also have this on our Facebooks. So Turning the Page Facebook as well as MAEC’s Facebook.

And we’ll be sharing some more contact information. So if you’re not joining us on zoom and you are logging on Facebook, welcome, and in the future if Facebook’s easier, please join us in that way.

We’re trying to figure out what is the best way to reach you all, but it’s exciting to hear that you all are kind of all over the place, and that this weather, I mean, really everything these days tends to have a small effect on us and I’m going to be excited to talk with Little Friends for Peace as well as Dr. Shaffer again today about that.

Jen: [00:04:43] Absolutely. Absolutely. Right.

Should I tell the dad joke while we’re waiting for our Facebook live today? I hope you guys don’t mind a dad joke.

Did you hear about the wedding on the moon? Sorry, I did that wrong. The restaurant on the moon. Great food. No atmosphere.  [drum sound effect]

Dr. Shaffer: [00:05:12] [Laughing]

Jen: [00:05:14] Thank you. Thank you.

Megan: [00:05:16] Seth, as a dad yourself, have you gotten any new jokes in your repertoire?

Dr. Shaffer: [00:05:22] Oh my goodness. I try and do a dad joke every day. I’m blanking a little bit under pressure here.

Jen: [00:05:30] No worries.

Dr. Shaffer: [00:05:31] I like puns. I’m a big pun guy, you know, I can’t think of one right now. I’m so boring. Sorry. But I am looking forward to hearing about, the speaker, you know, and what they’re going to be talking about. What they’re going to be talking about, Little Friends for Peace.

Jen: [00:05:46] Yeah, absolutely. We just wanted to make sure that we have our Facebook up and running, but I think we’re gonna dive in here, and get going.

Megan: [00:05:53] Let’s do it!

Jen: [00:05:54] And trust that it will all be up and running soon.

So without further ado, welcome to The Family Room. This is an ongoing webinars series in partnership with MAEC, and Turning the Page, M A E C and Turning the Page. And today we’re thrilled to be, joined by Little Friends for Peace that will be sharing with us a presentation about building peace in the family.

So Little Friends for Peace does amazing work with all age ranges and, types of folks in the community. And for today in particular, we know that parents, guardians, family members, everybody is in really close quarters and spending a lot of time together, under stressful, stressful circumstances.

And so we’re really excited, for the Little Friends for Peace to join us and share some really great tools and strategies you can just take and use this afternoon, tomorrow, this weekend. So this is going to be really fantastic. As always, we do want to try and, you know, building community here.

This is not intended to be a lecture, so please join in, in the chat box, the Q and A. If you’re on Facebook, please comment in the Facebook page you’re on. We’ve got teams looking, keeping an eye on all of those things and sending your questions over. So we want you all in on this conversation, so please, please do send those questions and comments in and we will try our best to answer them today.

And the ones we can’t answer today, we will hold on to in case we can get to them next week and also in our newsletter. So we really do want to try and be here to serve all of you as best we can.

So with that, okay, I’m going to get it started. So today’s agenda, we will begin with welcome and introductions, and then we will have the presentation from Little Friends for Peace, building peace in the family. After which they will take questions specific to what they presented. And then every week we will maintain some time for a question corner, with child psychologist, Dr. Seth Shaffer, who you just met, and MAEC’s education specialist, Mariela Puentes.

And then we will wrap up, for just sharing out our feedback survey and also sharing upcoming webinars. So that is what to expect today.

Logistics, as always, I’m sure many of you are accustomed to this by now, but please mute yourself to avoid background noise. And use the Q and A to ask questions and or the chat feature.

And you can choose for yoursel, gallery or speaker view, depending on the view you would like to have. And so with that, I am going to pass it over to Mariela Puentes, the education expert from MAEC to talk a little bit about MAEC’s work.

Mariela: [00:08:39] Hi everyone. I’m Mariela Puentes we’re happy to continue to be part of this collaborative effort with Turning the Page. Part of this is to provide support to families as things on the ground are changing. So a little bit about MAEC. We are an educational nonprofit in Bethesda, Maryland. We were founded in 1991. Our vision is a day when all students have equitable opportunities to learn and achieve at high levels.

Can you go to the next slide please? Thank you.

Our vision is a day when all students have equitable opportunities to learn and achieve at high levels. And when we say all students, we mean all students, regardless of race, gender, language, national origin, income, disability, or any other characteristic that we may be identified as.

MAEC’s mission is to promote excellence and equity and education to achieve social justice.

Here’s a great quote from MAEC’s president “Family engagement needs to be more than a series of random acts. It requires a systemic, integrated and comprehensive approach to working with families in support of children’s learning.”

So who we are. The Collaborative Action for Family Engagement center, is a project of MAEC or M A E C. We apply an equity lens to family engagement. We focus on building relationships amongst families, schools, community organizations to improve the development and academic achievement of all students.

We serve as a statewide family engagement center for Maryland and Pennsylvania. And we are funded through a federal Department of Education grant for statewide family engagement centers.

So our core beliefs that guide our work are, one that families are committed to actively supporting their children’s learning and development. And two that the complex intersections of race, socioeconomic status, gender, religion, ethnicity, disability, and language must be addressed to facilitate engagement.

We have two priority goals. Our first goal is to work with state education agencies, local education agencies, schools, community based organizations to create family engagement frameworks, policies, and other initiatives aimed at addressing the systemic barriers  to high-impact, culturally responsive family engagement.

And then on the local level, what that means is working with school districts, families, to really dive deep into providing educators and families with the necessary tools to be able to work together to improve learning and development for all children.

So now I’ll pass it back to Jen.

Jen: [00:11:25] Thank you. Yes. Thanks so much Mariela. So, Turning the Page, in a very similar vein is working to ensure that all students have a high quality education by partnering with public schools and families in our community to bring those resources together.

And our vision is that with hard work and continued cooperation, we can, as a community, improve the educational experiences of public school students.

And of course, typically we do that in the school communities. In rooms with parents and in collaboration with people in person. And so like everybody else that you’ll meet today, we’ve taken our work virtual. So now we are connecting through events like The Family Room, through phone calls, through digital resource dispersion.

And we’d love for you to check out our website as well and learn more about what we are doing to keep people connected. But we love being able to bring parents and everyone in the education field together to talk about how to keep learning, strong and equitable during these unprecedented times. And so that’s a little bit about Turning the Page.

And so now we’re very excited to move into the feature presentation for the day. Our presentation from Little Friends for Peace.

So Little Friends for Peace was founded in 1981 and it’s located in the Washington DC area. And was named for the little way, a little part that we can all play in spreading peace.

So Little Friends for Peace seeks to eradicate violence by teaching skills for peace. Their mission is to counter violence and contribute to the worldwide culture of peace, by sharing skills to prevent, resolve and transform conflict with individuals, teams, and communities.

When we are all in person again, Little Friends for Peace, offers a wide variety of incredible workshops and trainings and camps and programs for students and for adults. And they have done an amazing job of making those available virtually via zoom. And so please do check out their website where you can access information about those workshops and the tools that they’re sharing.

So that’s And I’m thrilled to welcome the presenters and the staff from Little Friends for Peace, MJ Park is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Little Friends for Peace, and Caity Dee is the Deputy Executive Director from Little Friends for Peace.

Today, they will discuss tools and strategies that you can use to build peace in the home, during shelter in place. And again, these are tools that you can take and put into place right away. So they’ll share with us for about 30 minutes and then save plenty of time at the end for your questions.

So please send them at any time, our team is watching the chat box, so feel free to share them now as she’s talking, at the end. And we will try to answer as many of them as we can. And so with that, I’m going to turn it over to MJ from a Little Friends for Peace.

MJ: [00:14:19] Thank you, Jen. I am thrilled to be here today with all of you in these, as we keep saying unchartered waters. I have a phrase that one of the men in my group shared.

He said, we’re all in the same storm, but we’re in different boats. And so, this afternoon as we’re trying to keep our boat afloat and throw each other lifesavers, I want to say that I’m joining with you in this mission of how we can find tools and practices to help us navigate with our children, and one another.

Caity who is with me, is my Development Director, who has helped put together the slides. So I just want to give her a shout out, as someone who has been helping LFFP plant these seeds of peace. So, maybe we could have the next slide. As I share with you, the, work of LFFP.

I’m a mother also. I have six children, and I’m an educator. I’m, married to Jerry who helped co-founded this organization as our response to violence, but also with our thirst of wanting tools and practices that we could implement. So as I was, going, I grew up in a suburb of Chicago and, was teaching.

I loved it, but I was struggling with the atmosphere in a lot of the schools and wanted to help equip people with those tools and practices that could help build their self esteem, make them feel part of the circle. So as you see in these slides, we have implemented the circle process to help create safe spaces and safe places for people to come and bring what’s on their heart, and in their mind.

And, wherever they are. so I have a peace room in DC and it’s part of an afterschool program, but it’s now turned into a lab where we invite people to experience, learn, and practice peace. And we work with lots of college students that have been trained and I’ve written a book called Live peace, teach peace.

So if we could move to the next slide. We’ll start with our wellness wheel. I have a strong theory that we cannot teach or model or be what we have not worked on our self. And so, the wellness wheel is where we begin to find, and become self aware of what’s going on within our self.

And this tool has become really important right now in this time of Covid because, we have been, you know, put in stock and our, you know, way of being has been interrupted. And, how to, you know, kind of find a a root and a focus for ourselves. So this tool I think is one that can be used with families, as a talking point, as a discussion of what’s going on in your mind, from anxiety too overthinking, over worrying. Which, you know, affects our spirits and is bringing people down and making them lack motivation. And, the zip that they had because their schedule has been interrupted. Their environment taken away from their connections, their friendships, circle, sports teams.

And I had one boy in my little peace zoom class the other day, and he said, you know, my feelings are really sad and my peace is broken because I can’t be with my friends and I’m not getting my exercise. And then he ended with, and I really miss my coach because he makes me feel good. And, so again I think that taking time to really announced that a big event has happened and it’s interrupting our peace.

And, we want to get a hold of some ways that we can reset. And, re-navigate in this new normal we’ve been put in. So as you’ll see from the chart, it has a balanced and peaceful wheel is one that, you know, can have some peace of mind and have some joy in their spirit and is getting some exercise.

Because that is what we bring to our work and to the people we interact with. And an unbalanced wheel, is one that, has the unpeace, in those areas. But I put together a little checklist because I think as families it’s really fun to have goals and to be able to check in and celebrate when we have a victory, or we’ve done something that helps our wheel.

And, so I’ve been meeting in circles with people of all ages. And we actually have been using this as, what on the wheel is bringing you some peace? Where are you finding yourself, you know, making some progress? And where on the wheel are you struggling? So I offer this as something that it can help with your own mental health.

And again, self-awareness. I had a young adult, the other day who said, I’ve been, you know, short with people, I haven’t been able to get up as on time. And, I just don’t have the motivation that I had before. And when she checked in with the wheel, she realized that she wasn’t eating well because of afraid to go to the grocery store. She wasn’t interacting with people.

And so she started shading. She got her colored pencils out and she said, MJ, I’m going to, you know, put this wheel into color form and I’m going to start lighting up when I do something for my wheel to keep it balanced. So this could be, again, something that each of the family members has. And, use it as a way of helping people to express their feelings and get in touch with what’s on your mind.

And again, as a mom, I have five boys and one girl, and they’re large now, I have grandchildren, but this is been a winner tool. Even now, my son is the soccer coach, and he’ll call me up and say, you know, my wheel is really off because I’ve got all these coaches  and, we can’t do what we have been, you know, planning on doing for our spring rec team. And now I got to improvise.

So, let’s move on to the next one. The wellness wheel leads into how to get some structure in the family. Especially now when we’re together more. A lot of families are being asked to wear many hats from working at home, to being teacher, to being motivator and to help navigate family squabbles and, people being together so much.

So I’m one that, again, circling up, starting the day off with a little centering. And, the peace pledge is something that I use in our peace camps and our peace circles that I do. But parents have asked me, you know, can I have a copy of that? We would do well to have that on our refridge. And remind ourselves that, you know, we want to operate with respect and care. And so, again, it might be something that, depending on how many kids you have, rotate who’s going to say the pledge today?

And then let’s go over the I care rules. I love these I care rules because they cover some of the basic tools that I think on a global basis will help change, which we hear a lot, that we’re a culture of violence. And my goal as an educator, and is this, a peace educator is how can we intentionally build a culture piece?

And I think we’ve called for it. But we need to get more in touch with the how. And how can we stop the violence? And so our mantra is to give people those tools. So if you’ll notice, we listen, hands are for helping. We use I care language. Now I care language is a fun one because you can talk about what is I care language? And, you know, language that makes people feel good and builds them up and not tears them down.

Like, we’re at the breakfast table. Oh, you’re going to wear that shirt again? That’s so ugly. No, that’s a peace breaker.

Let’s say. Oh, I’m so glad you’re here and I’m glad you’re, you know, part of the family. My kids now say back, mom, I’ll never forget the I care rules and how you had them posted up.

Four is, I think what we need to be doing so much right now, we care about each other’s feelings. And at the core of it, we all are wired to have good connections. And right now we are being robbed of a lot of our connections. And so to help our children and our family members to reach out and to connect with one another.

So I just finished a kindness class with kids and they were having so much fun being creative and thinking of ways that they could connect. And then the families got into it. So we’ve had this whole families building peace in the neighborhood and reaching out. From sending notes to making signs for the Instacart people, bringing things to healthcare workers.

So, I think this changes the climate and culture in the family. As it does in the classroom, as it does in the community. When we can keep finding ways to build people’s spirit by making them part of the circle. And affirming them for what they’re doing good. Not just catching them for being bad.

And then of course, five is really good for the family, where we are responsible for what we say and do.

So moving along, as we start our day with the pledge and the ground rules. I know as a mom, I had to pump myself up on some mornings to say, okay, here we go another day. This is going to be a great day. But, I am, as as, Caity, our development director is big on that we have to focus on getting that body moving. And, also how we can do this by focusing on the mind too.

So, this is a fun activity. One of my parents, from peace camp said MJ, this has changed our life because when the grumpiness starts and the complaining and the negativity, we go, let’s do some of MJ’s bubbles.

And so it’s basically, you know, standing up and saying something like, I am grateful and bringing your hands up and then down. Don’t pop your bubble. And then asking them to say something. Yesterday, one of the kids in the class said, I am amazing. And every, you know, of the kids were doing it. And again, it brought some joy out. And got the adrenaline going and the laughter, which I think we need a lot of good, joy medicine right now.

And the peace squats. came from my sons who do squats all the time, and they said, mom, why don’t you do some peace squats? And, so I said, yeah, that’s a good idea.

So it’s been good exercise, pushed down what we don’t want. Push down the hate and bring up the love, pushed down the meanness. Spring up the kindness, but then, you know, ask, what does our family need? What do we want to get rid of? You know, maybe it’s, you know, mean comments to each other. Maybe it’s selfishness. And then what does our family need that will help us to be more united and to be more happy and to feel connected with joy. So again, this is one that sets a tone and an atmosphere.

One of the LFFP missions is to interrupt violence with tools, practices, and relationship building.

And I think that modeling starts in the home when we can, you know, see that we’re not here to just lead people. But we are here to connect and to find ways that love is growing and that we are growing within ourselves.

So we can move into our next slide, which this is my fun one. I love the concept of bucket filling. And, it really is this whole idea that all of us have a bucket inside. Maybe you’re familiar with the book, How Full is Your Bucket? There’s one for adults too. And, I know that I work with a lot of teens and college students that talk about having low self-esteem or that have lost connections because they feel isolated, even before the virus. Just a sense of aloneness. A

nd so, we’ve been doing this how you can be conscious of filling someone’s bucket by what you say to them. How you reach out, and basically take the time to do those acts of kindness. And, I think it’s a great activity in the home to make buckets or, you know, you can get these little tin buckets and decorate them and leave notes in your kids’ bucket, by their bedside.

It’s contagious. Just like meanness and violence  can be contagious, kindness and bucket filling and joy can be contagious and positivity. I care language, this is has stemmed out of being in lots of environments where put downs and, you know, calling people out or being mean.

And so again, at peace camp we have campaigns about how to use I care language and care for self care, for others and care for the earth. And, one of the comments from a fourth grade boy at peace camp said, MJ, I love this camp. And I said, why? And he said, everyone’s so nice. And I said, Hmm, isn’t that the way it should be?

And he said, yeah, but at my school, they’re not nice. And,  I’m not used to giving compliments and, but I like it. So I, again, I think these are things that can kind of turn things around  in the home. And they, you don’t have to implement them all at once, but how to keep spicing up. And especially now when we are coping with hard news.

When our mind is distracted by worry and anxiety and what’s next. And the kids are picking that up. And we want to help them to live in the present moment. And as my husband said the other day to my son who has, we have a special needs son that lives with us, and, you know, how to help him to focus on the joy of the moment. And find alternatives to the worry or the loss of and the concern of the long range plan.

So, doing games or cooking or, bringing in some laughter and now we’re trying to help him by filling his bucket. He’s a cook, and so, help him to find connections with people he can cook for. So again, it’s almost like a new strategic plan as a parent to say, you know, how can I take my gifts, whatever you’re good at, whatever is in your bucket and be able to help put a little in others.

And I think again, we all need our bucket filled too. And so it’s important, I think for, you know, parents. I know myself, I didn’t always take care of myself. I took care of the kids first and then as I would say, Oh, now I’ve still got to give more, but my bucket’s getting low. So again, that’s why we’ve gone to the model of circle. We’re all in this together.

Now we’ll go to the part about problems. I’m not naive to think that everything’s rosy, right? Conflict is part of the nature of raising children. And in this culture where we’re asked to multitask and there’s a lot going on. So I found this tool to be very helpful, at least in giving kids, again, a tool and myself, the tool of reminding myself to stop.

And reset by reclaiming my center. And releasing my anger, my frustration. And try to remind myself to go to my heart rather than just releasing my anger on. So an example of, you know, walking in to your kitchen. And it’s a mess because everybody’s home eating at all different times. And you’re just ready to, you know, throw in the towel and say, this has got to stop. Why are you all, et cetera.

So I’ve learned to kind of take that deep breath, and sometimes I just say, you know, to my kids, and I need stop for a minute, I need a walk. And then, you know, kind of think it through. Imagine a compassionate response that will not just call people out or put them down, but be an I statement, where I can say, you know, I’m frustrated., I’m at the end. I need some help in order to get our kitchen cleaned and get ourselves back. And could you all help me?

I remember going into my son’s room, and he, always had it a mess. And, you know, like, why can’t you get this? I put the laundry here, et cetera, et cetera. But the day I went in and said, I have a problem.

And he said, what mom? And I said, I have a problem that whenever I walk into your room, I think of what a wonderful person you are, but I really have a hard time with messes. And he said, Oh, mom, that’s too bad. I’ll help you. But he, I keep flipped it because I engaged with him. I connected with him first and then corrected.

And if I hadn’t stopped and thought through my response, I don’t think I would have said it that way. So your action, you know, again, could be an I statement and helping everybody to be involved in the restorative justice of reaching a solution to a conflict.

So I have a little chant, I go stop, you know, think, act before you just react.

Yesterday when I was doing a high school group, a circle with them, they were graduate students or high school seniors. And, they were telling me that they’ve been doing a lot of acting and not thinking and stopping first because they’re on edge and they’re worried and they’re angry because they didn’t get their graduation the way they wanted.

And, so anyway, they said, I’m gonna do this more, stop and reset. And, you know, try to breathe. And one girl said, you know, I really think I should just I get out of my house for a minute and take some walks in nature.

So again, this is a great talking point. And it’s a good tool to have up in the house because it’s a reminder to not escalate but deescalate first. Before you, you know, go on a rampage or, but it’s a win-win because I have seen kids using this. And start asking each other and let’s stop and think before we just act.

A good one, before you send an email, before you make the phone call. To just remind yourself of this tool.

And I think, do we have, yeah, this one.

So there’s the deescalation. Families have been using the shark fin where you put your hand up and you don’t even have to say anything. You just kind of put your hand up and then go down your side and say, I am going down the escalator, taking a deep breath and regaining my inner peace before I deal with this.

Or it’s all getting hectic. Everybody’s talking and you know, things are out of sorts. The phone’s ringing, the TV’s on and you might just call for the shark fin and go down. Use this one all the time. And the kids love it cause some kids, themselves don’t like all that commotion and chaos.

Finger breathing is also another good tool, especially now when there’s so much anxiety and, so much worry to just reset.

And I think we have come to the end. So you’ll notice here that Little Friends for Peace has a website, where we have, tool cards that are a lot of the tools that I just mentioned and more. And we’ve been doing circles, on zoom for all ages and for families to help you share thoughts and feelings. And to connect with others and process the tools and practices and also the book, Live Peace, Teach Peace is on there.

So, I’d be happy to answer any questions.

Jen: [00:36:50] Fantastic. Thank you so much MJ. Yeah, we’re getting comments already, people wanting to learn more about how to access these tools. I know I was trying them out as you did them, and I feel  calmer and better already. So thank you so much for that.

And we do have some questions coming in.

So if I can throw this first one at you, I’ve got a question from somebody who’s listening live right now. And this person works actually at a nonprofit facility that serves homeless women with children and teen parents. And so they’re wondering if you have any special thoughts to help an organization with an already vulnerable population would maybe be struggling through this transitional period anyways. And then layer on top of it, the stress of, of Covid and that anxiety. What are the ways that some of the tools that you guys share could be used in a situation like that? Yeah.

MJ: [00:37:41] Well actually that’s a very interesting, I have been working with a shelter. We’ve been doing a zoom circles with them and actually using the wellness wheel as a way to just talk through some of the feelings. And, we have a tool card called, you know, how to be positive in the midst of loss and, in trauma and, practice mindfulness in hard times. So I think one of the things is to have a specific tool or practice. But one of the biggest ones is listening and helping people process what they’re feeling and thinking in a safe environment.

And, so that’s why at this one shelter they implemented having, cause we go to women and men shelters often, and help bring them together. And we usually do a circle, check-in and then a cooperative game, and then an art activity. We can’t do all that on the zoom, but just the fact of coming together, and it’s been very healing, helpful and very insightful.

So that’s something we can offer too.

Jen: [00:38:58] Wonderful. Thank you. We have another question coming in from the zoom chat. How can I get my teams to engage with your organization?

MJ: [00:39:08] Well, again, we would love to have them join the circle. We are going to be doing our peace camps virtually. And if things break open, we’re going to do more.

But LFFP for the bigger picture does travel. We went to Chicago a couple of summers to do peace camps. I don’t know where you’re located, but if you want to contact me, we’re going to have a young leaders group and, get together and basically be able to check in and be self-aware, but also learn these tools and then do some leadership.

Because I think that’s the biggest way to help people get out of themselves and connect with others. So, yeah, I totally be glad to connect you.

Jen: [00:39:53] Thank you so much MJ.  A question we had that came in last week that I think, might be apropos for right now was somebody asked, how do I comfort my kids when I don’t feel secure myself?

And I think another piece of that is. We often sort of have answers or are able to tell kids, you know, what to expect or how long something will last, or this is the way that it works. And you know, kids don’t know that yet, but we can train them and how it works. And we’re in this unprecedented time as a society where we don’t know how it’s going to work and we don’t know how long it’s going to last or what next week, let alone this next year will look like. So what are some ways that these tools again or strategies can be used to help? I think this maybe comes to those buckets. How do you help your kids feel comforted or talk about these difficult situations when you yourself are experiencing the same lack of knowledge and same anxiety that maybe they are.

MJ: [00:40:45] Yeah. Well, I think, so being transparent to a degree with your kids that, you know, mommy or daddy or whoever’s bucket is, you know, to use that language with them, that, you know, I’m feeling sad without going into the degree that you are. But, in encouraging them that, you know, together we are going to creatively find ways to help each other. And think of something therapeutic that would help heal you.

Whether it be gardening or, you know, taking a walk. And be that as an example. But I would definitely encourage the person who’s sharing this question is, I resonate so much with that is really why I wrote this book is Live Peace, Teach Peace, because even teachers will say, you know, I am not feeling it. I am full of anger, anxiousness. And that spills over in the classroom, right? Same thing in a family.

So I would love for you to join one of our circles because I have more parents in the circle now who are saying, you know, I gotta have some way to, you know, reset myself so I can bring some of these tools. So I have the energy and the spirit and the language. And, so we’ve been sharing everything from when you wash your hands so many times, go through the alphabet and say, think of somebody that, you know, that begins with A, Aunt Rose. And, you know, that happens in the circle because everybody’s sharing these ideas and it really takes that weight off, just saying it.

So, as you hear me? I’m bringing it up because LFFP is found this new, it’s actually gone international. I’ve got people from Mexico. I had a woman from Peru last night that’s been in her apartment for six weeks, and she hasn’t gone. Out well,  it was just flooding out of her. And afterwards she just said, my goodness, I feel so much better.

So join a circle and we’ll share ideas, and then you can circle up with your kids and build peace. And it’s magic how it happens.

Jen: [00:43:03] Fantastic. Thank you so much. So, as you can all see, there is information here about how you can contact Little Friends for Peace. I think we will, transition now at this point MJ, thank you so much for all those tools. Again, we were getting lots of comments and questions I think  is really resonating with folks. And so hope everybody will pop over to your website and be in touch with you and Caity and the team.  And again, knowing that we’re in this for the long haul. So these are strategies that I think, as we continued to stay together  and build these together, these are strategies that can really set up for success in the home. So thank you so much for that. Great.

And so you’re going to move on to the Question Corner. And so every week on our Family Room event, we will host the Question of Corner, with Dr. Seth Shaffer and Mariela Puentes.

And so we’re just going to hold 20 minutes at the end of each week to take your questions and send them to these two experts in psychology and education. Knowing that those are two really important topics for parents and families right now. And that there’s new stuff coming up every week that’s on everyone’s mind.

So continue to send us your questions. And I’ll just introduce these two and then we’ll move right into them.

So doctor Seth Shaffer is a licensed clinical psychologist in California. Certified in parent-child interactive therapy for strong-willed children. And he works with families and children who are ages two to 20 and is currently located in Los Angeles.

And Mariela Puentes is MAEC, M A E C’s education expert. She’s been working in education in schools and nonprofits since 2012 in areas including enrichment programming, summer programming, and providing training on behavior intervention strategies. And she holds her M.Ed in curriculum and instruction from the Lynch School of ED at Boston College.

And so today in particular, we are going to be talking about this question of children’s anxiety and how that pertains to education. We’ve gotten a lot of questions on this topic, of course, because it’s an anxious time. And the way that schools have been sort of uprooted and educational futures are much fuzzier right now is, of course, causing a lot of concern and questions and anxiety.

So we are going to start with Dr. Shaffer. Could you chime in a little on what advice you have for parents just managing your children’s anxiety in general at this time?

Dr. Shaffer: [00:45:35] Yeah, I’d be happy to. I think  it’s a really important question. I would imagine that under these circumstances with staying at home, that we’re all experiencing some level of anxiety and stress, et cetera.

We’re with each other 24 hours a day. In our apartment with, you know, maybe, you know, several family members, et cetera, in a small space. And so anxiety is affecting all of us. The the first thing I think that’s important when it comes to this is to normalize. And what I mean by that is if you notice that your child or your grandchild, who you’re taking care of, et cetera, if they’re expressing some anxiety or some worry, that you normalize that, like it’s totally, and you can use language, like it’s totally normal that you’re feeling sad or worried or scared. And those kinds of things and using feeling words. Right. And then particularly, you know, tell them that lots of kids and pretty much all of us are having big feelings like that right now.

And to use language like big feelings is also a good thing. And also the older they get, you still normalize. You just might use more like kind of cool language or whatever. Right. That’s relatable to your child. Yeah, you know, everyone’s stressed out right now. I’m sure your friends are too. I’m here for you.

Right? It would be some language you can use for maybe a slightly older child, maybe elementary school or even middle school, high school, et cetera. Normalizing.

And then there also are some kids who even before Covid hit and before we will all stay at home, that had some anxiety themselves. You know, whether they would meet full criteria for a diagnosis or some more severe anxiety.

But that left that population being more vulnerable. And then when Covid  hit and we’re all staying at home, that adds an extra layer of stress. And so for that population, I think you want to be really mindful of looking for any signs that, for that population, their anxiety got way bigger. Right?

And you may see things like avoidance. Trying to stay in a certain part of your apartment. Not wanting to talk as much. Rigidity. Right. Or needing to try to control things. Maybe being more in quotes, bossy, for example. You know, irritability. So having bigger reactions to seemingly small problems, are some things you can look out for. And that’s just to name a couple of signs

On those webinar from, excuse me, The Family Room from last week. There’s a specific slide that has more detail about signs that you can look for. And so that’s available to you on MAEC’s website. If not, it will be, And if not, just let us know the chat room if you want some more detail of specific signs to look for in the young people that are  in your home, in your apartment, and what to look for.

And then certainly, if you’re not sure, reach out to us. You can contact nonprofits like MAEC. We provide the contact information, TTP, we have that contact information. and then MJ’s organization as well. Tap those resources and contact them for questions, et cetera.

Specific things that have to do with mental health. Like we’re talking about anxiety. You can also look to you and so can TTP and MAEC, the American Psychological Association’s website. There’s a specific page. I’m gonna include the link here. oh no that CDC, let’s see, APA. Here it is. Excuse the delay. I’m going to put it in the chat room to everyone.

But this has a list of federal, state, local resources, that you can tap or call if you’re concerned about your child or someone that you’re connected to. These are free, these are available to you. There are phone numbers there that you can call, et cetera.

Okay. I want to get into, MJ touched a little bit on language that you can use when it comes to talking with your kids about Covid.

I think it’s important to not shy away from that. What can make someone who’s feeling anxious, feel more comforted is to feel like they can ask you questions. They can come to you. And I think it’s equally important, I agree with MJ that you should also connect with them and reach out to people that you’re living with, with your kids. And have the answers. And make sure that the answers that you can provide are accurate.

So there’s another link that I’m going to provide in the chat room here. That has to do with safety guidelines provided by the CDC. So, when it comes to your children asking questions about things they’re worrying about related to Covid, you can look at this resource for the CDC.

Even with your child., I would say if they’re like maybe elementary school age, you know a little bit later, I would encourage you to look at it first, but you can, it can be more collaborative. The order your child is particularly middle school, et cetera, high school, like that. But just make sure that the answers you give are accurate.

And even things like, I know a parent asked a question recently like, when my kid asks, am I going to get Covid if I go outside? What do you say to that? I mean, there’s no way to know for sure. Right. And I think although an ambiguous answer, like, I don’t know, right.

Can raise the kids anxiety, you can support that type of an answer with something like, I’m going to do whatever I can to keep you safe. I know what we need to do to keep ourselves safe. If we’re going for a walk in our neighborhood, if we’re going to go for a walk in our building. So to be practicing safe social distancing process practices, but be able  to support your child after you give like a, I’m going to do my best to keep you safe response, I’m not sure. But here’s what we can do to keep ourselves safe can make your child feel safe.

And of course you want to be modeling that as well. The CDC is telling us, you know, to wear a mask, wash our hands regularly, which are things you should practice with your kid, and those kinds of things. So it’s okay to give an, I don’t know, response.

I just think it’s equally important to also make them feel safe by saying, here’s what we can control. Here’s what we can do. Because that can help a young person feeling anxious to feel like, Oh, there are some things that are in our control, right? Cause there are many things that aren’t. So I’m not gonna get it too much more with this question, which is a good one.

And I feel like I’m rambling, but I think these are really important things to touch on and I don’t want to rush through them. So I encourage you to kind of keep sending us the questions in the chat room and in between Family Room series week to week, contact MAEC with your questions, et cetera.

But I will speak on two more things related to anxiety. One has to do also with talking to your children about it. Another one has to do with coping and specific coping skills that I’m going to provide. including a link to a video that has a specific breathing technique. I do like, and I use myself with the clients that I work with and people that I’m in touch with.

The five finger breathing technique that MJ mentioned. I think that’s a really good one. Right. So, and then after I mention those two things, Mariela is going to talk a little bit specifically about high school seniors, who are having this added layer of stress with deciding or try to figure out what they’re going to do with their lives next.

You know, that’s incredibly anxiety provoking. And so she’s gonna, she’s gonna help with, with addressing that. I think the younger the child, when it comes to using language with them and talking with them about Covid, the younger the child, the more broad the concepts and the more focused you want to be, you want to have on linking a feeling to a situation.

For example, pre-K, K I’m worried will I get sick? You’re worried about getting sick. That’s a reflection. I’m glad that you’re talking to me about this. I’m going to do what I can to help keep you safe. If they have questions about Covid specifically, what is it with pre-K to K?

It might be something like, well, you know, just like when you catch a cold or I’ve catch a cold where we get the flu, if they know the flu,  there’s a virus going on right now that’s kind of like the cold or the flu and doctors don’t yet have the medicine for it. You can use that language.

Doctors don’t yet have the medicine for it, but the doctors are working on trying to create a medicine for it. So we have to stay at home and be safe so that we don’t get sick, or other people don’t get sick. And just kind of wait until the doctors have time to come up with the medicine. Right. So that can be reassuring.

First through sixth grade, I want to say, you can expand and answer more specific questions about what Covid is. See this as a learning opportunity. Kids are at home. If you have access to the internet, if, you can see it as a project, right, that you work on with your elementary school aged child or kid that you kind of, they pick one thing and you research it and you make sure that information is accurate.

Again, looking at the CDC guidelines and getting the facts right. Contacting, if you don’t have the internet, you can contact MAEC or TTP, et cetera, ask them to somehow get you that information. Even if it’s conveyed to you over phone call, you take notes and write it down. And then have it ready for your child when you do the home learning project, if you will.

Middle school, high school, you can be more open. Right. And more scientific, maybe. About how you talk with them about Covid.

So I want to jump now to, and I might put together a handout that that will be made available to you guys next week that you can just download or take a screenshot of next week or whatever the case would be. We’ll get you some more information about talking with your kids and there are resources out there.

Okay, how do I cope? How do I help my child cope with anxiety? I know I’m covering a lot. How do I cope with anxiety or help my child cope? I think one thing that’s really important is, I already said that, if your kid has asks questions, that you have the answers.

I think another thing that’s important, if you’re able to do it safely, take daily walks. I saw someone in the chat room mentioned they take daily walks, they get outside, right. Daily exercise, getting adequate sleep. Try to keep a similar routine to when your child was physically going to school. That’s what they were doing. Diet, right. Eating right.

Another thing is kind of staying socially connected with their friends. I think particularly our middle school population, our high school population, just developmentally, they rely heavily in terms of social interactions, their social world, on their friends. And that’s been taken away from them.

Which is extremely sad and unfortunate. And so trying to help them stay connected to friends, virtually. You can get old school with writing a letter. If you have access to the internet, you can send an email and things like that. So that’s important. I’m going to post right now, or maybe Megan can. Megan will do it.

This technique that’s a relaxation technique specifically for those with anxiety. It was created by or coined by Doctor Weil, who’s an MD, a medical doctor. It’s the four, seven, eight breath, for breathing technique. So he will explain, if you click that link, and show you how to do it. And that’s something that you can do with your kid.

Do it yourself, that kind of a thing. That’s a concrete tool. I do it too, it’s helpful. And then that five finger, one that I mentioned. So I think one thing that’s really important is, I’m looking at some notes here, so when it comes to adaptive ways of helping your kid cope. Again, doing workouts in your apartment, telling your child that you’re glad that they’re talking to you, staying connected to them.

You could suggest a good ways for them to express their feelings. The younger they are, it’s going to be more play-based. The older they are, might be something like keeping a journal, keeping a diary. Right? You know, you guys could act things out. If they’re younger in elementary school or even younger than that, you can do plays at home.

Allow your kids just ways of expressing themselves and giving them that space by asking them and checking in with them, is important. And the older they are, they might want more privacy about it, but you can suggest that they keep a journal or something like that. I think the important thing is just again, staying connected with your kid, which we talk more about next, last week. So you can have access to those slides and those resources. We’ll make that available.

I want to say something specifically about those who’ve experienced trauma. Past history of trauma, current trauma. Because what that can look like is intense fear, anxiety, worry, not wanting to go outside at all, even if it’s safe.

Not talking that much. Their sleep might be disrupted. things like that. And with Covid now, those kinds of things in that child, that person can be exacerbated or they can get worse. Right? And so I think it’s particularly important for that population, for them to feel safe. They might need more attention from you. Right?

And to feel more connected. So spending more time with them, supporting them, normalizing what they’re feeling. Letting them know, as I said earlier, that they can feel, that they could feel safe, you’re going to do what you can to keep them safe. Give them tools, like I already mentioned, of ways that they can express themselves.And then again, you can contact, if you’re having a difficult time as a caregiver, knowing what to do, right, with your kid.

Like I said, they may be unresponsive to you. This is more intense anxiety, right? For younger kids, they might be wetting the bed for older kids. They get super irritable very easily, and you’re like, you’re thinking to yourself. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to deal with my child or this person. I don’t know how to help them.

I encourage you to, and I’m going to post it again, click on this link, or you can contact MAEC and they can help you sort through these resources. Just give me one second here. I apologize. Click this link to the APA website. They have a phone number that you can call to talk with or get resources to a mental health professional locally.

And just so just know this, hear this, you are not alone. You are not alone. If you’re attending this webinar or if you’re on this webinar, not only are you as a parent, but maybe as someone who runs a nonprofit, that you can make this available to people that you interact with as well. That link that I just provided.

Special needs populations. So trauma special needs. Special needs will also need more attention. And so when it comes to, if you are, for example, working at home, balancing, you know, working at home with homeschooling or being there for your kid, I actually wrote up an answer about how to balance working from home and homeschooling your child in the newsletter that either just came out through MAEC or that’s going to be coming out. And so I encourage you to read through that as well. So that speaks to kind of finding that balance.

But then the more organized, the more that you can try to plan ahead. If you have work things to do. and also balancing that with being there for your kid. Spend more time with your special needs, child with special needs rather or child who’s experienced in trauma so that you can stay connected to them while also being able to earn a living for your family.  That’s, I think about it. I know I covered a ton. I’m sorry, I talked for a while, but there’s a lot to cover there and I hope that some of that was helpful. I appreciate that.

Jen: [01:00:47] Thank you, Dr. Shaffer. And we want to throw it over to Mariela Puentes to tackle that question too. Dr. Shaffer spoke a lot about general anxiety, anxiety, and sort of the different stages of life. And I know Mariela, you want to talk, especially about those high school seniors who are on the edge of graduating from high school on that what next question. And maybe while you’re at it, you could also talk about a question that came up last week about English language learners and how we can support families or educators in accessing resources or advocating for their kids.

So both the high school, what’s next question, and the English language learners question and then I’m mindful of our time we’ll maybe wrap it up after those two if that works.

Mariela: [01:01:26] Yes, absolutely. Thank you for passing it over. I’m happy to talk about high schoolers and anxiety. I think first we have to recognize that high school seniors everywhere are missing traditional milestones, like prom, graduation. And, you know, it’s tough for them to switch over to virtual or online or whatever other avenues their school is providing for them. If they were sort of anticipating and hoping that they would get this graduation where they could celebrate with everyone.

And so then to add to that, right. So then they are thinking of what comes next, especially those that are considering college as their next, sort of step in their process. And we have to recognize that this is already a stressful time for many students. And even without Covid, many people are always thinking about, what is the fall going to look like for me?

Am I going to be able to fit in, into school? Right? So there all these like different challenges that students are already thinking about. And then you add Covid on top of it. With so much in the air it’s really challenging for students to deal with that uncertainty. And for high school seniors especially right to like deal with that uncertainty and not know what the fall will look like.

Especially as colleges and universities are still trying to figure that out themselves. So I think my suggestion would be for families, you know your child, you know their strengths, you know, the areas of growth. You can help think through planning with them about what that might look like.

Depending on what they might need in that situation, I might even do some scenario planning. Right? And so think of what happens if in the fall,  all your instruction is switch to online. How will you cope with that? What strategies do you need to be successful in that sort of environment?

If they switch to some sort of blended learning, right? Like thinking through them, like the very concrete things that they need to either do or like how they need to ask for help and from whom they need to ask for help. So that they can start, thinking and getting that independence that they so crave at that age.

And then I think for educators, I would suggest to keep your relationships strong and open with families and with students. Even though they’re graduating, they’re leaving your schools. Because I think students right now need a lot of consistency and need to know that they have adults who care about them and care about their wellbeing even beyond school.

Or  beyond their high school. And this is especially important for first generation college students who may not know how to navigate those things on their own. And may not have families who can help them guide through that process. So it’s especially important for educators to try and fill that gap, if it exists.

And really, I think thinking about what strategies can help you and your child plan for this uncertainty and for what fall might look like.

Now as it relates to the question we got last week, related to supporting English learner families. I think it’s really important for educators to create different channels of communication in families’ languages. And also like build the capacity of families to learn the knowledge and skills to navigate the U.S. school system or to navigate your school system now, during Covid.

Because that might be something that they’re not used to. Or, and that yourself are not and trying to figure out yourself. But being honest and candid about that too as you’re both figuring out together, I think will be very helpful. Connecting families with resources and providing the opportunities to ask questions, I think is also, something that can help a lot. Especially for families who may be shy or may not know that they can do those sorts of things within the school system.

It’s important to be able to give them that voice and to encourage them to expect things from you as well. You also want to reach out to community organizations that serve your families and make sure that you are providing a comprehensive network of support for everyone.

And then I think your focus should really be on meeting the needs and priorities of families, right? So taking the time to connect with them and asking them what those are, instead of assuming that you might know what’s best. I think last week we also had a question that was similar to this, but really thinking about how you can help families advocate for themselves, especially if that might not be a valued, like characteristic or trait within their culture.

And I think when it comes to that, educators first need to know families and the ways that families are already involved in their children’s schooling. And Covid has really highlighted the relationship and it has  become increasingly important and more obvious, that homes are where learning is taking place.

And that you really need to build a collaborative relationship with educators and families. And that you’re both in it together  to make sure that students succeed and achieve, at high levels.

And then you’re also building, as you go along, right, you’re building opportunities for communication, for cooperation, for collaboration, between school and home.

You’re encouraging families to ask you about student data and online learning, and you’re collaborating on language and learning goals and, and educational goals. And then I think be mindful too that right now, the way that schools are collecting data might have changed, right? So you may be tracking attendance, you might not.

You might still have observations for students who are receiving special education services. Some schools may still have grades, may not, may have done completely away with standardized assessments. And really  I think your focus should be, in light of those things, to help families adjust to that, to those new ways as well.

Dr. Shaffer: [01:06:48] Yeah. I think one thing like last week that came up was related to that Mariela is calling your child’s teacher. Calling their counselor, calling the principal. There was, I’m working with a client who is, I think he’s 13, having a tough time emotionally. A history of trauma and his mom in this case is doing a great job of informing her son’s teachers about how, what difficult time he’s having. And the teachers, it’s a public, you know, public school, are very receptive to it. And are like, thank you so much for letting us know and things like that.

And if, again, like last week, Mariela you mentioned, advocacy just now, which is so important, to be your child’s advocate. Bang on the desks in quotes, so to speak, until you get connected with the teacher, with the counselor, with the principal, et cetera. They have a ton going on too. Big shout out to teachers and educators out there. But as a parent, as a caregiver, you also want to, you know, you gotta look out for your kid.

So, but  they don’t know what they don’t know.

Mariela: [01:07:52] Right.

Dr. Shaffer: [01:07:53] So it’s good to inform them and keep them in the loop there. One thing that, Mrs. Shaffer had, who’s the head of MAEC, I want to mention this about high school students, who are considering what to do next year, just to add Mariela to all the great things that you shared,  if they’re planning to go to college. Think outside the box maybe a little bit, if that’s okay with you and, or have a conversation, at least with your senior, you know child, about a gap year, right? A gap year, meaning like a break. A year long break before they actually go to college.

Maybe if you’re, if the child wants to become more active or involved, like MJ mentioned leadership, related things to connect with one of MAEC, TTP, MJ’s organization, and see how your child can get involved with a nonprofit like that to take on a project for the year.

There’s, I don’t think there’s, it’s not about right and wrong. It’s very subjective. It’s opinionated, but I’ll just say this one thing. It’s not about, it’s not about like right and wrong. It’s more about like helping your child to process what’s happening. By talking with them and giving them options, that because as a society many of us are trained to think like after high school, you have to go to college, right? And that’s okay. Going to college is a fantastic thing, but under these crazy, I’m gonna use the word unprecedented circumstances we’re in a global pandemic. I mean, you know, that we can maybe start to think a little differently and see the silver lining, or this as an opportunity to explore other avenues for seniors after school that they might otherwise consider, even if it’s getting a job, taking a break.

This is not going to last forever. Right? Things change moment to moment and so above all, just staying connected and having those connections. To have it be a collaborative effort  is super important.

Jen: [01:09:47] Yeah. I think that’s also a great segue to just sort of general resources and stuff that we are sharing right now.

Mariela would you want to speak quickly. I know, again, we are at our time here, so do I have to wrap up quickly, but just want to make sure everybody has access to and feel free to screenshot this now if you’re paying attention at home, if you’re tuning in. But some general resources and specific resources from our organizations before we head out for the day.

Mariela: [01:10:15] Yeah. So these are a variety of resources available from, you know, anything from mental health to food to MAEC’s state resources that you can be connected to as well. From the Department of Education,  for families who may have children with special needs. There’s a variety of resources on here, that you can use depending on what your needs might be.

Can you go to the next slide?

So one thing we would highly encourage you to do is to connect with us. MAEC has compiled state resources for families across the United States. So anything from how to be connected to food resources, to unemployment. everything that’s very specific to your state. Please sign up for our newsletter Learning at Home. It’s a collaborative effort between MAEC and Turning the Page.

And with that, we would actually encourage you to answer next weeks newsletter question. Our question for next week that will be featured on a portion of our newsletter is how are you maintaining social connections while physically distancing?

Please submit your words, your artwork, scan letters to be included in our newsletter by following the link above. I believe that link will also be shared in the chat box so you can share with us that way and keep connected in this time of  physically distancing.

Jen: [01:11:40] Fantastic. Thank you both so much.

And then we’ll wrap up our question corner and our webinar for today. Really appreciate everyone for sharing  your advice and wisdom. And, we want to just give you a sense of what to expect if you tuned in with us every week, which we hope you all will. The Family Room Series continues, and every week you can expect after a short welcome and introductions that we’ll have a featured guests like we did the Little Friends for Peace today, the Q and A session with that guest. and then a Q and A session, the question corner with Dr Shaffer and Mariela Puentes. So, look forward to those things consistently. And if you have questions that have come up in the meantime, get in touch with us, let us know. I know there’s a lot of questions that did come up today that we didn’t have time to get to.

We saw them, we hear you. We’re keeping track of them and trying to keep answering them in the newsletter and in our upcoming family Room webinars. So. We really appreciate your connecting with us at this time. Specifically next week, next Thursday, the 21st we will be joined by Carla Easter from NIH, who will lead us on a really wonderful activity for how to explore our genes and find the ways that we have commonalities with each other, whether we are blood relatives or other types of family with each other. And then the following week Ann Caspari from the National Air and Space Museum, will be sharing flights of fancy.

So there’s lots of great stuff coming up. We do hope that you will join us, and we want to make sure that we are serving you well.

So please do take the survey. If you take a picture of this with your camera, just to make sure that you zoom in so that the QR code fills the camera and it should bring you to the survey. And, it really will help us a lot to know who you are in more detail and, how this has been supportive to you and what else we can do moving forward.

I want to, again, thank MJ Park. And Caity Dee from Little Friends for Peace. Thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your resources and, strategies and tools that I think will be really useful to all families in this time. And people in a variety of different circumstances trying to take good care of themselves and each other.

Thank you, Dr. Shaffer. Thank you Mariella, and we appreciate you all and we’ll see you next Thursday. Take care of everyone. Take care of yourself.

Dr. Shaffer: [01:13:56] Stay safe, see you next week.

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