This week we had some crucial conversations with the middle school youth and parents at Family Program. Melanie, of Your Choice to Live.org, gave a special presentation which included the story of her daughter’s drug overdose. We may not want to face it, but there is an opioid epidemic in Waukesha County. We have to be willing to have these conversations because it takes a community to stop an epidemic. Here’s a link to the video Melanie shared about this crisis. You can look for more resources on the Your Choice to Live website.
Following her presentation Melanie answered questions and we shared ideas to help our children and youth. One suggestion Angie Flanagan shared was to have a code word, or emoji, for your child to text to you when they want to get out of uncomfortable situations. Sometimes they need us to be the one to say no for them. Do you have other ideas? Please post them here. If you missed this presentation I encourage you to register for the panel presentation on this topic which will be held on April 29 following the 9:00 Mass.
It struck me as I reflected on the day, that in addition to those conversations on heavy topics, our children and youth need us to have lighthearted times with them too. Once in a while we all need to be reminded of the beauty and goodness all around us – to marvel at the ways God loves and cares for us, to share our hope.
Here are just a couple suggestions for cultivating joy. Please share your ideas on this too.
- Be grateful – ask each person at the dinner table to describe, in detail, one thing that happened that day for which they are thankful
- Play together – card games and board games are great
- Listen to music! Check out the Family Program blog for Al McCauley’s playlist of songs
- Get outside – fresh air is good for all of us
- Laugh! Find the humor in everyday situations, be willing to laugh at yourself