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March 4 Meeting Recap: Raising our Children to Flourish

At our March 4 meeting, we welcomed Anna Cejka, a clinical health psychologist. Her topic was “Raising our Children to Flourish,” and she gave us many excellent tips, strategies and scientific ideas to help us help our children grow up safe, healthy and happy.

She says we should parent with the “3 Cs” approach:

CALM: Calm yourself down first.

CONNECT: Listen to and understand what your child is trying to communicate. Label their emotion. (Ex: “You’re feeling sad that you lost your special toy.”)

CORRECT: “It is not OK to hit when you are angry. You can stomp your feet, punch a pillow or take deep breaths to calm down. Do you want me to help you?”

Anna said often we fall into a habit of CORRECTING first, but we should focus on that after CALMING and CONNECTING.

Anna said our main tasks as parents are:

  1. To love and encourage without conditions.
  2. To set consistent expectations and limits and develop healthy routines.
  3. To help them build confidence through autonomy.

My biggest takeaway was that no parent is perfect, but we can strive to incorporate healthy parenting habits as often as possible into our lives. And if we do make an error or lose our cool, we can “redo” the situation by apologizing, sharing our feelings and growing with our children.

Anna also passed out a great handout called “The Science of Raising Happy Kids.” You can find that handout here: http://www.happify.com/hd/the-science-of-raising-happy-kids/

Anna Cejka can be reached at 720-507-5502 or at anna.cejka@southeastcc.org.


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Easy I Am Thankful Pumpkin Craft


Easy I am Thankful Pumpkin Craft!

 Found this on Pinterest and wanted to share it with Halloween and Thanksgiving coming up.  We have so much to be thankful for.  This is a GREAT way to give kids an opportunity to count their blessings 🙂  Plus, an easy craft is always a bonus in my book!


Materials Needed:
*orange and green construction paper
*staples or brads

Step #1
Cut out 8 pieces of orange contraction paper into 1 inch strips.  You will also need to cut out 2 leaves and 2 skinny strips of green contraction paper for the vines.
Step #2
Have children write something they are thankful for on each strip of orange construction paper.  Be sure to leave about a 1 inch space on the sides of the strip so the writing isn’t covered up when stapled together.

Step #3
Use a stapler or brads to attach the orange strips at the top and then at the bottom to form a pumpkin.

Step #4
Add your leaves and green vines.  I rolled up the green construction in a paper to help curl the vines.

Super easy…super cute…and SO much to be thankful for!

From moffattgirls.blogspot.com

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October 2 Meeting Recap

For the month of October our theme is Flourishing Friendships.  To coincide with that, today we watched a video put out by MOPs featuring Shauna Niequist, then had time for table discussion.  Shauna had so many interesting points to make about being a friend and finding space in our lives to build friendships.  Here are some highlighted points:

–In friends, we can see ourselves how God sees us, without all of the negative self-talk.  Friends reflect to us how God knows and loves us.

–True friendships are affirming, positive and allow for vulnerability.

–Friendship can hit some speed bumps and still make it through the long haul.  Sometimes we feel hurt or hurt our friends, but friendship is a long road and we try to get past those times.

–Find time for your friends.  Your calendar should be less about what you want to get done, and more about the people you want to spend time with.

–Let go of toxic “friendships”.  Be with people who celebrate the best parts of you and want you to succeed.  If a friend diminishes your success and highlights theirs or cuts you down, they’re not good for your soul.

–The best friendships are reciprocal relationships – each person has a balanced amount of giving and receiving.  Sometimes there is more of one or the other during different seasons in our lives (for instance when one has a baby) but overall the balance should be there.

During our table discussions we worked on a cute craft put together by Jeri to help us reach out to our friends:


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On the inside we put a tea bag package, and a little note that reads “A little cup of friendship, in this cup of tea.  When you sit and drink it, I hope you think of love from me!”  We also received a note card to send a handwritten note to a friend.  Let’s keep those friendships thriving!

We’ll continue to focus on Flourishing Friendships at our next meeting on October 16, which will be a craft day!  We really hope to see you there.




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“If I Have to Read that Book One More Time …”

…What to do when your kids want the same story, over and over again. By Melissa Trujillo.

The offending text. 

When my daughter was 2, her favorite book was “Miss Nelson is Missing!” At first, my husband and I also enjoyed the tale of the misbehaving students and their sly teacher. Night after night, though, our daughter’s love failed to dim and we were left begging for another book. By the third or fourth month, we had resorted to hiding “Miss Nelson” at bedtime.

 We wanted Miss Nelson to leave as badly as the students did. 

Kids love re-reading and re-hearing their favorite books. And repetition helps increase language, memory skills and vocabulary. But if you’d rather pull your hair out than read that book ONE MORE TIME, break up the monotony and engage in different ways with these hints:

  • Have your child “read” the story to you. We were amazed when we realized that our daughter could recite “Miss Nelson” from memory and she loved retelling the story to us, in her own way.
  • Don’t read, discuss. Instead of simply reading the story, ignore the words on the page and ask your child questions to get through the book. “Why do you think the kids were so naughty? Isn’t that a funny tie on the principal?” Point out interesting parts of the pictures or have them guess what happens when the story is finished.
  • Read the story wrong. This is one of our favorite games. My kiddos love correcting me when I botch a well-known story. The sillier, the better.
  • Act it out. Retell the story using toys, stuffed animals or puppets.

This post was originally posted on www.packtivities.com.