Tips for Helping Kids Through The Covid Crisis

The Coronavirus has become a pandemic crisis impacting every aspect of our lives.  Parents are being forced into the role of educator as our children are pushed into a home-schooling situation.  To add to that stress, many of us do not know how long we will have a paycheck or a job as so many industries are having to reduce operations or shut down completely.  We are being asked to limit contact with others.  All of this is causing anxieties to rise in both adults and children. 
Be mindful that your children are looking to you to see if they should be scared. Do not completely ignore what is happening.  Answer your child’s questions in an age appropriate way.  Develop a new routine so that your child can feel safe.  Talk to them about taking the recommended precautions to stay healthy. 
Additionally, do a daily “worry” check in.  With my child it goes something like this, “Let’s check in.  Tell me something you are worried about today?”  or “Are you concerned about anything today?”  It is enlightening what you may find out.  Many days those concerns have nothing to do with what is currently happening and many times it is something that a parent can address easily.  The later is great.  It gives you a boost in your confidence level as a parent and your child is reassured that things are okay.  Soon, you may find that your child is initiating the daily check in.  “Hey Mom!  Tell me how your day went?  What made you happy today?”  At my house, we change the questions up.  Sometimes worried focused questions, sometimes feelings focused questions and sometimes activity focused questions.
Here are some ideas for activities that you can do to keep your child engaged and to help with your own self-care during this unsettling time:
  • Read a book aloud. My child’s class has read aloud time during the school day and it is something he enjoys.  Pick a series and read together for thirty minutes a day.
  • Do an art project together. Draw, make slime, finger paint, color—build with legos.
  • Write a “book” together. Develop a story line, take turns writing paragraphs, create illustrations.  It can be a true or fantasy.
  • Take a hike. Go someplace and enjoy nature together.
  • Watch a movie or find a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime that is family friendly. Gilligan’s
  • Bake or cook with your child. This helps to develop math, reading and survival skills.
  • Teach your child to clean and disinfect.
  • Play outside…basketball, catch, blow bubbles, hide and seek, take a walk.
  • Play tic tac toe, board games, card games, or make up your own game.

Structure can help get you through this crisis and as a bonus the “together time activities” will help to strengthen family bonds.
By Tammi Pitzen
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Parents Need to know about CyberBullying

Every parent wants to keep their child safe, but for today’s kids, threats don’t just exist in the physical world. These days, cyberbullying—bullying that takes place on social media, over text and email, and in other online venues—is everywhere. A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that 59% of US teens had experienced cyberbullying, and 63% consider it a major problem.

As more and more kids and teens spend time online, opportunities for cyberbullies only increase. Trying to keep your child safe online can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. To help, our safety team at ASecureLife has compiled a parent-friendly guide to preventing, recognizing, and dealing with cyberbullying.

Please visit this link for helpful information:


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The Family Connection

Great parenting doesn’t happen in isolation.
The Family Connection provides a regional parenting hub where parents can come together, learn effective parenting skills from certified parenting educators, be introduced to community resources and find support from other parents. Parenting is hard work!

As Southern Oregon’s Parenting Hub, The Family Connection and The Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative (OPEC) were founded to help.
Please take advantage of our FREE parenting classes, workshops, and events!


Remember, great parenting doesn’t happen in isolation… Let’s get connected! We also provide organizations and agencies the ability to contract an evidence based parenting series or workshop for their clients.
Head to our online Parenting Education Community Calendar to sign-up for FREE parenting classes, workshops, and family friendly events in Jackson and Josephine counties.  

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Matching Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches with Struggling Families

We all know that babies don’t come with an “instruction manual!” What’s a mom or dad to do when they need help? The answer: … call Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches and be matched with a “trained and trusted” community volunteer Grandma!
The idea for this program came from Linda Otto, when she realized through her work as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), a Baby Cuddler at Asante Special Care Nursery, and a trained Postpartum Doula and Infant Massage Instructor, that parents today are stressed out, overwhelmed and need help. So, she decided to fill that need by starting a non-profit called Grandmas2Go-Family Coaches.
The mission of Grandmas2Go is to mentor, nurture and support parents, infants and toddlers during the critical years of childhood brain growth – from pregnancy to preschool. This multi-generational program is changing lives …not only for struggling families, but also for the senior volunteers who are staying active, engaged, and finding a new life-purpose!
In 2017, Grandmas2Go entered the national Generation to Generation Encore Prize Competition and was named one of the top five new, innovative, inter-generational programs in the country! Grandmas2Go has been featured in major local and national media including Forbes, MarketWatch, and Wall Street Journal. PBS’ online newsletter, Next Avenue, recently published an article: “Grandmas2Go Arrive with Love”. 
Volunteer Grandmas are ‘women of wisdom and experience.” We partner with local agencies to help all our children to thrive!  With families today facing a multitude of challenges, no wonder a father of twins stated, “I don’t know how we would have survived without Grandmas2Go!” A single mom wrote “My Grandma2Go helped me get through that dark period …. we love our Grandma2Go!” And from a mother of two, who was helped by her grandma-mentor to get her US Citizenship: “Thank you for helping me make my dream come true!”
Grandmas2Go is growing, replicating and scaling to serve communities throughout Oregon and across America! And we’re promoting this growth through our “Help Us Grow -“HUG” Campaign. Help us reach more families! Send your name and email address to [email protected] and receive an invitation to Help Us Grow!
We need community support to continue our compelling work. We invite you to join us … as a volunteer Grandma, a donor, or in helping spread the word by hosting a presentation in your neighborhood, church, or social club. 
As Linda, Founder & CEO, says, “We know that one caring adult can change the life of a child. Just imagine what a team of Grandmas can do!”
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Sleep in Heavenly Peace: Providing Beds for Children in Need

Sleep in Heavenly Peace began in Twin Falls, Idaho in 2012 when a group of people built a bunk bed as a service project. After building a second bunk bed with the leftover lumber, they offered it for free on Facebook with an overwhelming response. They soon realized that the need is out there for beds for children – the roots of Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) were planted!

In February of 2018, Mike Rowe’s Returning the Favor Facebook video blog spot-lighted SHP and the rush was on. Since that time, as of early 2019, 12 chapters have grown to nearly 150 chapters throughout the country. There are chapters in both Josephine and Jackson counties that build and provide beds to children who have none. The process is simple and involves the entire community.

SHP receives money from local donors and receives no government assistance. We build beds during either Public or Private/Sponsored Build Days using volunteers from our counties.

Families whose children have no beds may apply for them through our national website,, or you may refer a family you know is in need. Our organizations deliver beds to their homes, free of charge, complete with a bed frame, mattress, pillow, sheet set, and a blanket or quilt for warmth –
ready to sleep on.

It is estimated that 3,000- 6,000 children in Southern Oregon are sleeping on the floor, on couches, with other children, or with their parents because families are unable to afford beds for them. After paying for a mortgage or rent, food, and clothing, many times there is little money left for what many of us consider a necessity, beds. Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s mission is NO KID SLEEPS ON THE FLOOR IN OUR TOWN!

How can you help? Please contact either Southern Oregon chapter for more information. We gratefully accept donations or sponsorship, small or large. We are always in need of new, twin size bedding. We welcome volunteers for our public build days and to help with chapter events. Watch our respective
Facebook pages for news!

Josephine County: Facebook: @SHPJoCo
Jackson County: Facebook: @SHPJacksonCo


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Women, Infants and Children WIC – Jackson County

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a free nutrition education program that helps families identify healthy nutrition choices that work for them.

Why WIC?
WIC debit

Women on WIC eat a healthier diet, have healthier babies and receive early prenatal care.

Infants born to WIC mothers weigh more and have improved growth and development rates.

Children on WIC eat foods with more iron and vitamin C, and visit their doctors regularly.


You are eligible for WIC if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Live in Oregon
  • Are a pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding woman, an infant or a child under 5 years old
  • Have a nutritional need
  • Have a household income that meets the current income guidelines.

*Fathers, grandparents, foster parents or other guardians may apply for WIC for their children.


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Moms Club of Medford


The Medford chapter of MOMS club was founded in 2000. We are a non-profit organization that offers fun, support, and encouragement to at-home moms in the Rogue Valley. Experienced moms, new moms, and moms new to the area all come together to make up our group of amazing women! We offer twice weekly playgroups, field trips, family friendly community service projects, parties, family events, monthly moms night out, and MORE!
It takes a village, come find yours with MOMS Club!                                                                          To meet us or for more information, contact  [email protected]

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T1 Dynamite: A Southern Oregon group for youth with type 1 diabetes and their families

This is a support group for kids under age 25 who have type 1 diabetes. In the world of diabetes, type 2 diabetes tends to get most of the attention, leaving people with type 1 lost in the mix. Of the 26 million Americans living with diabetes, only 5% of that 26 million have type 1.
I have started a group for local youth with type 1 diabetes because I couldn’t find one in Southern Oregon. If you are 25 or under and have type 1 diabetes, please join us at one of our meetings!
This is an active group with each meeting focusing around an active activity such as bowling, swimming, or rock climbing. Being active is an important part of proper diabetes management, but managing your blood glucose during exercise can be difficult. Because of this, many people with type 1 diabetes are discouraged from joining sports teams or doing sports altogether. T1 Dynamite meetings are a safe place to be active, have fun, and learn that it is possible to play sports, even with type 1 diabetes.
Our Group’s Objectives:
1. To help young type 1s and their families connect;
2. To raise awareness about type 1 diabetes in our community; and
3. To be active and do fun things together where we all have type 1 diabetes, and where managing blood glucose is the norm!

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Care for Mama and Baby in the Days after the Birth Day

By Rhione Zeixchel
I just returned from a 4 week baby wellness check and home visit with one of our moms. I was thrilled to see how rested, happy and bonded with the baby she was. It was a treasure too
watching Dad holding and communicating with his son, all the while, the baby making eyes and baby
sounds for him. They were all so in tune! Baby was completely comfortable in his body and parents
were obviously adept at “reading” his cues, for nursing, for changing and so many other little things. Hardly a drop of stress in the house! They wanted to share so much of what they were learning – As if they themselves had been birthed into a whole new life.
Last week I witnessed a similar thing at a 4 week postpartum visit: mom was tucked away upstairs enjoying nap time with her baby. Dad and younger sibling were downstairs making food and generally bouncing gently around the way younger kids need to do. Both of these moms felt really comfortable in their bodies, had energy and felt “recovered” from the birth and both were dedicated to spending as much time as possible focusing on baby time, nursing, resting, enjoying. The babies were totally thriving! I was told they hardly ever cried.
Parents could tell what the babies needed before crying ever happened.
The most prevalent energy in these homes was JOY!
But It can be DIFFICULT
I remember a much different picture with my own first baby. My husband went back to work the day after the birth. I rested as much as I could, but there was still food to cook, dishes and clothes to wash and all the various household chores while I was caring for a newborn, learning how to breastfeed and
recovering from the birth. Labor and birth were a true vision quest for me, unimaginably transformative, and then suddenly, boom! that’s all over, now get back to normal life. I understand now that I really needed time to rest and integrate what I had just gone through. It was certainly the biggest experience I had ever had. My other challenges included outrageous
fatigue, screaming muscles, basic overwhelm with everything being so new (I had never done this before!) and no one to share it with. I felt so alone but didn’t even know how to talk about that. Was I supposed to be enjoying this? My saving grace was the love I saw in my son’s gaze
and my overwhelming desire to mother him.
I had intended to stay home exclusively for 21 days to give my baby time to “totally come into his body” and feel 100% secure, safe and thriving. I couldn’tdo it. By two weeks I was getting “cabin fever” and went out into the world with him on some mundane errand. It was obviously a big mistake. He cried. I cried. My errand didn’t get accomplished. We both needed the slow calm attention and flexibility available at home in our nest. The simple act of driving and trying to “get something done” were moving us in the wrong direction.
During those early postpartum days, I talked to my mother on the phone (we were more than 3000 miles apart) and told her how sore, aching and tired I felt and she responded “Oh yes, I remember that’s how it is.” And that was it.
This was just “the way it was.”
No one had told me how to create a BabyMoon time for myself and my newborn. I didn’t even know I would need it! I didn’t know that I would really, really need this thing I had never even heard of. The new mom needs TIME. Time for recovery, rest, healing, bonding, adjusting, integrating – These are very real needs in the days and weeks after birth. There are physical and emotional
costs when these needs are unmet.
For my second, third and fourth babies, I was more prepared. I had helped many other women plan their postpartum “lying-in” time experience. I did my best to create a BabyMoon experience for myself and I got better at it with each baby.
We are creating a BabyMoon Project at Three Sisters Midwifery in Jacksonville that you can benefit from right now. We want to spread the word until BabyMoon is a cultural tradition. As a community we can help each other. When you sign up for our Baby Moon Project, you can receive newsletters with information and resources about how you can create your own BabyMoon. We are gathering a circle of women who can mentor and support other women to create and sustain their BabyMoon time.
Find out more at
Three Sisters Midwifery
HomeBirth • WaterBirth • Well-Woman Care
Rhione Zeixchel, LDM Insurance and OHP accepted
Jae Rowan CPM, LDM Call for free consultation
Katie Guidotti, ND
Maraya Brown CNM, MSN 1-541-833-0999
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Birthday Parties for Kids

By Michelle Jensen, Parent Resource Center
One idea is that simple can be better. The younger the child, the simpler the celebration you may want to hold. Who doesn’t want to celebrate their child’s birthday? It’s a time for celebration, fun, family and friends. It’s a time to honor that child‘s special day.
However, many times over the years I have noticed parents who decide to go so overboard that their kids no longer expect small gifts or small parties. Not only that but because there are too many gifts and too much excitement or too many people, the enjoyment and the appreciation are missed. It’s important for a child to have fun and learn to appreciate simple things.
Compare these two experiences by reporter Julie Tilsner.
SITUATION #1:   Brigid Galloway of Grantville, Georgia, couldn’t resist throwing a huge bash when her son, Jack, turned 1. Some 50 friends and family came, but it was too much for Jack, who cried through the puppet show and wouldn’t touch his cake. “Everyone had a great time‚ except for Jack!” says Galloway.
SITUATION #2:    For her daughter Lulu’s first birthday, Julia Regalado of Berkeley, California, decided on a picnic in a local park for 12 of her friends and their kids. She made sure Lulu stayed blissfully unaware of any extra attention. As Regalado nursed her daughter to sleep under a
tree after lunch, the guests offered a hope for Lulu’s future in lieu of gifts. “There were no meltdowns, everyone had a good time and it was such a satisfying way to mark the day,” she says.
It’s important that parents get very clear about what is really needed at a Birthday Celebration. If your child is old enough to notice what other more elaborate parties are like, you may clearly state “Everyone is different and this is what our family does” (In fact, these words may be utilized anytime there is a difference in how someone else does something!)
Kids need to know you care, that you honor them and want to celebrate them. A birthday can be done simply. Use your creativity and make a list of simple locations to hold the party, how many people to
invite (younger kids need less overwhelm) and if the child is old enough to give some of their own ideas or opinions, take that into consideration.
Creating a simple experience that is fun, allows the time with family
and friends to be savored.
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