Due to the recent COVID19 outbreak, many parents are finding themselves working from home. While some parents are used to working from home, many are making the transition and settling into any given comfortable space in their home.
Whether working from home was the norm or a new transition, many parents are also now finding themselves taking on the role of teacher, cook, playmate, lesson planner, and everything else in between for their child(ren) in addition to having to work their job and keep up with daily work demands.
While we as parents may understand that this is the “new normal” and how things have to be for now, it can still be difficult to carry on all the responsibilities that we are used to all at the same time and all in the same location with every member being home all at the same time.
This transition may be difficult, but we can help!
We used to have the luxury of taking a break and going to our favorite coffee shop to get a hot latte that warmed the soul or going to our favorite restaurant and enjoying our favorite meal in the midst of mindful eating. Now? Not so much.
The breaks at the house may not seem as pleasant or appetizing as they once did. Your patience may be wearing thin and you may be singing “Jesus Take the Wheel” more than you ever have before.
Feeling overwhelmed right now IS NORMAL AND VERY MUCH OKAY. You are human. You have needs and you also need breaks. Self-care is important. YOU are important. I can assure you that you are not alone in feeling this way.
Strategies for Coping
So how can one have some semblance of sanity in the midst of this chaos? Here are a few suggestions that might be helpful:
Establish a routine
Not only for your child(ren) but also for yourself. While the routine may not look like it did before, there is some sense of normalcy in having a routine (with time).
Keep taking breaks during the day as you once did
Sure, you may not be able to hit up your favorite spot but you can substitute that time with another activity. Maybe you take a short drive somewhere or take a walk around the neighborhood/house or even take an actual lunch break in a different part of the house. Or maybe you take a few minutes for meditation and deep breathing.
When you can, ask for help
Whether that’s from your partner, nanny/sitter, daycare, or whoever! If you’re partnered, tag team it up. Split up tasks. Ask for what you need and be specific in what you need.
Check in with yourself often
If you need to, reach out to someone you trust and just vent. Whether it’s a family member, your partner, friend, neighbor, therapist, church member, whoever. Let it out.
Make time for a break
My favorite way to do this is setting a slightly earlier bedtime for your kid a couple of times a week. That way, they’re in bed and you’re hopefully taking a hot shower and catching up on your favorite show or just sitting there in silence.
Join your family, friends, co-workers, etc. through a digital coffee date, a Zoom meeting, or Google hangouts. Adulting with other adults is important!
Practice giving yourself grace
Parenting isn’t a competition and we are all in this “new normal” together. How easy is it to understand and validate another’s situation but then get down on ourselves?
Remember, we are human and aren’t perfect, and this includes in the parenting arena. Sometimes Fruit Loops and screen time are exactly what’s needed. Go with it.
Leticia Frazier, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Schools are closed.
Ballet, soccer, and baseball seasons are canceled.
There are no playdates or trips to the museum. This is our new normal.
The reality is that we’re living in unprecedented times. With state and nationwide closures and restrictions, many people are left feeling anxious and uneasy- especially children.
And, if you’re a parent, you might find yourself struggling with how to explain the situation to your children without causing fear. Here are some times that can help you talk to your children about the Coronavirus as the outbreak continues.
Help Them Feel Safe
The real enemy is the anxiety surrounding COVID-19 that can be especially difficult for children to deal with. From their perspective, it seems like the world is shutting down around them. Disrupted routines and isolation can really start to take a toll. Help your children adapt to their new normal by creating a safe and healthy environment at home.
Watch your tone when you speak. Keep them from viewing sensationalized
media stories. Find ways for them to safely connect with loved ones and friends through video chat and phone calls. Above all, continue to reassure them that this is just a temporary situation.
Even though we can’t predict the future or know what to expect in the coming weeks, remember that children thrive on routines. Help them create some reliability and consistency in these uncertain times by putting together a schedule for the day.
Let your children know what to expect. Be honest about the time you’ll spend at home and come up with creative ways to not only pass the time, but to enjoy the togetherness!
Lead With Empathy
Children have a lot of emotional needs and it’s important to let them continue to express the way they are feeling. For example, it can be very frustrating that they will miss an upcoming field trip to the zoo. Acknowledge their feelings and frustrations and help them work through these big emotions. In the end, you’re really helping to build their mental resilience.
The days ahead will likely continue to be a challenge for us all as we adjust to our new normal.
The good news is that there’s never been a better time to slow down and focus on what you have. Now is the time to create positive change and celebrate the beauty of togetherness within your family.
Use this time to connect with your family and shower your children with love!
It’s a four-letter word everyone’s talking about with Valentine’s Day approaching. But the true meaning of love is complex. It’s an emotion perhaps more powerful than any other emotion!
Love is about setting priorities…
Love is about respect and trust…
Love is about respect and kindness…
Love is patient…
Love is SO many things!
Love Is Not Dependent On The Outcome
“Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity”C.S. Lewis
It’s hard when people don’t return your love the way you hoped. It requires you to be courageous, resilient and hopeful. As hard as rejection can seem, it’s important to know that love is never wasted.
Love is patient which means you can’t get too caught up on someone’s response to your love and generosity. Give love freely to better someone else and not in a desire to make yourself feel better. It means that your care is not dependent on their response. Loving well is never a waste.
We don’t need to look to the past regretfully, but we can look back with gratitude for the opportunity we were given to love at all.
Relationships are hard.
Family dynamics can be complicated. And when everyone in your family has their own personality, a unique set of personal values and wants to be independent? Well, life can get complicated sometimes.
When families enter therapy, they commit to moving forward in growth together. Your family therapist at Foundations Family Therapy will meet you and your family where you are.
We will get to know your family…
And look for patterns in how you communicate…
We’ll work to identify common conflicts and talk about the problems bringing you in.
So, if you and your family ready to start functioning as a unit again, here are a few ways our Family Counseling services can help.
One of the most critical skills in developing relationships is communication. Family therapy helps families in the development of spiritual, intellectual, and emotional roles of life. Challenges for families have changed with addiction issues being high across the country. Therapy can assist with teaching coping skills for family members and opening a dialogue for communication regarding serious matters of concern.
Communication within a family can sometimes be challenging. Family therapy is available for these situations to assist with the learning of better communication techniques while learning to resolve issues as well. Teaching strengths and weaknesses of a family it is crucial to keep an open mind to growth and the potential for positive change.
Lower Risk of Conflict
Lowering the risk of conflict within a family is a valuable skill. While conflict is never desirable, even one member under stress can wreak havoc within a family. Learning the skills to communicate with multiple generations improves family life, teaches about respect, problem-solving, and responsibilities within the family dynamic.
Family therapy has become a widespread need for families throughout the country and our Raleigh, NC community is no different. Families face many challenges that could include issues with addiction, multi-generation homes, divorce, teenage rebellion, and so much more.
Your Family Can Get to a Better Place
Through family therapy, you can increase your sense of connection and begin to enjoy one another again. Our therapists work with your family to improve communication, resolve long-standing conflict and teach conflict resolution skills.
Not only will you find ways forward around the sticky issues you are sick of rehashing but you’ll feel ready to face future conflict together as well. Your therapist helps you clarify your values as a family and then apply those as you problem solve major issues in your life.
You don’t have to stay stuck in the same old patterns. It is possible to enjoy one another and feel like you can have a conversation together. Family therapy can help. Contact our office today
A sprinkle of salt here and a dash of sugar there… it sounds like a pretty common scenario, especially around the holiday season!
Do you find yourself adding a few spoonfuls of sugar to your morning coffee?
How about a dash or two of salt to season your holiday dinner? Add to that the existing sugar and salt in processed foods and you have a recipe for both physical and emotional health problems.
The physical complications of exces\s salt and sugar in your diet are rather well known. Too much salt, or sodium chloride, may put yourself at risk for health complications like heart disease and diabetes whereas excess sugar intake could lead to obesity. As if that weren’t bad enough, sugar and salt can also affect your mood in a negative way.
Sugar & Your Brain
Did you know that your brain uses more energy than any other organ in the human body and glucose is its primary source of fuel?
But, in the case of sugar, there is such a thing as too much. In fact, excess sugar impairs both your cognitive skills and sometimes self-control. For many people, having a little sugar triggers cravings for more. T
Sugar can actually have a drug-like effect on your brain.
In fact, science tells us that sweet, salty, and fatty foods can stimulate the reward center in our brains which creates a downward spiral of overeating, weight gain, and loss of self-control…just like any other addiction. Our bodies can adapt to crave these elements
The Effects of Inflammation On Your Mood
Both excess sugar and salt can lead to inflammation. You can start to feel bad physically and mentally. Inflammation from high sugar consumption can affect your memory and cognitive skills.
Furthermore, inflammation can have a tremendous impact on your mood. Sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of anxiety and depression in many studies.
The good news is you can still enjoy the holiday season (and all the delicious
meals that come with it) if you fuel your mind and body with healthy foods.
Remember, an indulgence here or there isn’t the real problem. Take note of the refined sugars and overly processed foods you find in your daily diet and get a healthy jumpstart to 2020.
Halloween is right around the corner! A time full of fun and fright. There are so many things about Halloween that children love, but scary costumes usually aren’t one of them.
The good news is that it’s pretty common for kids to get some extra goosebumps during this time of year. If the blood-and-guts of the season send your child running away in fear, try these tips for a happier Halloween.
Understand Real vs. Fake
Spend some time before a night of trick-or-treating to talk to your children about what’s real…and what’s not. This can be a tricky concept for children (especially younger tots) so don’t get discouraged.
Try walking them through the Halloween aisle at target and showing them a few masks to show how they are scary but they aren’t real. This can be A LOT harder to do on Halloween when someone is walking down the street dressed like an axe murderer, so get a head start on the conversation!
Plan Kid-Friendly Activities
Separate the adult Halloween activities from the kid-friendly ones. Remember, younger children work hard to process what their surroundings and an unfamiliar haunted house could really through them into a panic!
Skip the bloody zombie door hanger this year if it’s not for your child- there are a lot of other ways to celebrate and have fun.
Don’t Minimize Their Feelings
Some costumes, events, and decorations can be really scary to young minds. Talk to your children about the way they are feeling. Talk specifically about what’s scaring them and trying having the real vs. fake conversation (again). Above all, provide comfort to make them feel safe and heard.
Pack Your Patience
We probably don’t have to tell you this but children can be moody. If you spent $75 on the princess costume and they won’t wear it that night, stay calm! Be flexible and try talking through their resistance. Build-in some extra time so a meltdown or two doesn’t ruin all of your Halloween plans (#Momlife?)
Don’t Add Sugar To The Mix
We all love the sweet goodies of Halloween. Where would we be without a 5lb bag of candy sitting on top of our refrigerators for months to come? One of the worst things to do is to add sugar to a meltdown. Try not to bribe or reward bad behavior with candy.
Also, it’s probably best to talk about your candy rationing BEFORE trick-or-treating.
There’s nothing better than spending quality time together as a family! In fact, there’s no better time of year to embrace joy, thanksgiving, and love than during fall.
Even though it might still feel like summer, there are plenty of great ways to celebrate the new season together as a family. Check out these great events happening around the area…
Marbles Kooky Spooky Halloween Party Sat, Oct 26, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Marbles Kids Museum, 201 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC
Come in costume for a ghoulishly good time! Experience the magic of Marbles after dark at this family-friendly Halloween spooktacular with activities like Ghoul School, Mad Scientist Lab, Monster Mash Dance Party and more!
2019 Midtown Pumpkin Palooza October 13, 2019, Commons Area 4321 Lassiter at North Hills Ave., Raleigh, NC 27609
Price: $5-$25; kids 5 and under free with parent.
Celebrate fall with Capital Bank, the Midtown Raleigh Alliance and all our sponsors and partners. This fall festival is truly a family event – bring the dog too! Enjoy the 4th Annual
Midtown Raleigh Chili Cook-off, live music, a huge KidZone of activities, Oktoberfest food from Wegmans and beer from Trophy Brewing. The Holt Brothers Foundation will host the Midtown Sports Trivia Contest, so if you think you ‘know it all’, bring it! Single grand prize awarded. Enter the carved pumpkin contest by bringing your original carving from home ~ there is an adult and kids division to compete it. Enjoy craft cocktails from
Palooza Spirit Station while you kick back and welcome fall. Raffle tickets available. Event proceeds benefit the KidsCAN program at Duke Raleigh Hospital.
Millstone Creek AppleFest 2019 Finale Saturday, September 28th: 10am-4pm |Sunday, September 29th: 1-5pm | Admission: $8/person
Join us this weekend as we conclude our AppleFest 2019 event. Take one last spin at apple bobbing, apple piñatas, apple pie eating contests, apple storytime, cider pressing demonstrations, apple classes, apple cider donuts and more. Our u-pick pumpkin fields will be open and there are dozens of neat, crazy cool pumpkins out there for you to pick and take home. Guests must pay the AppleFest admission in order to access the u-pick
orchards, and the cost of the fruit is not included in the admission price. Click here for tickets, a schedule of events, and more details.
Page Farms Pumpkin Season
ADMISSION INCLUDES: Pick your own Pumpkin from the vine, explore the Corn Maze, take a Hayride, play in the Corn Crib, slide down the Hay Stack Slide, ride the Cow Train, enjoy the Farm Animals, have a Duck Run race, and much more!
Pumpkin Patch Express Museum of Life + Science, 433 West Murray Avenue, Durham, is presenting the Pumpkin Patch Express again, for 2019. You need to purchase tickets in advance, and they do sell out.
Trains leave the station every half hour, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the Museum’s pumpkin patch. Pick the perfect pumpkin to decorate and take home, and then enjoy crafts and a variety of carnival games before returning to the station.
Children have a different way of looking at the world.
They’re learning to communicate, process emotions, and develop new coping skills. We know how hard adolescence and young adulthood can be. There are so many life changes happening at the same time as physiological changes that are normal for this developmental stage.
But oftentimes, the combination creates confusion, fear, anxiety, anger, and sadness. Therapy can help worried adolescents and young adults manage their fears and increase their confidence. Finding the right therapist for your family can also help address these issues and work through any trauma that may be contributing to their feelings and behaviors.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when looking for a children’s therapist in Raleigh, NC…
A good therapist understands the importance of trust between both the child and the parents. During therapy, families must share information that’s personal and sometimes sensitive making trust an important pillar of your relationship. It’s also important for a therapist to respect the confidentiality and privacy of the family at all times- this includes connecting and coordinating with coaches, educators, and others outside of the office.
Successful therapy requires a teamwork approach. Your therapist should understand you are ally’s working together to help your child thrive. It’s also important that family members work under the recommendations and guidance of their therapist. By working together, you can create a nurturing environment for your child to work through issues and move forward with new communication and coping skills.
As we said before, children view the world differently. They think differently….communicate differently… and act differently than adults. This is why it’s essential to find a therapist who understands the specific issues that a child may face.
Our Family Therapists help families learn to communicate better and reconnect. We treat the entire family as a unit to help each individual feel heard and valued within the family system. Through family counseling, you can move through a difficult time and come out on the other side even stronger as a family.
Adolescence is a beautiful yet challenging time of change.
As a result, if you think about all of the social and academic pressures topped with hormonal shifts, it’s no wonder why it can be difficult for teens to adjust!
The good news is that if they seem emotionally unstable, irritable or moody, it’s likely this is all part of normal behavior.
School and Change
As we enter this transitional time of the year with new beginnings at school, it’s important to have a care plan in place to help things go smoothly. Careful organization and planning can help eliminate uncertainty and let your teen know she has a support system in place.
Start by establishing communication. It’s essential to keep communication channels open in order to build a positive relationship with your teen. Even if you don’t always agree, you want them to know that you are interested and that you care.
Another important part of healthy communication is teaching them about mindfulness. It’s easy to get lost in all of the fears, anxieties and “what ifs” that surround the teenage years. Help them learn ways to stay focused and stay present.
Teen Depression and Anxiety are on the rise.
Most importantly, in the rise of teenage depression and anxiety, it’s important to talk about personal safety. Have an open and mature conversation about all of the new issues and challenges your teen might face. Be sure to include topics like sex, drugs, and alcohol use. Talk about all of the new freedoms, responsibilities, and expectations associated with the teenage years and make sure they feel safe.
All parents want to give their teens the tools they need to not only survive but thrive. Family therapy can help with complicated issues and conversations. This is why our team of compassionate therapists- many parents themselves- are here to help your family grow together through adolescence and beyond.
If you’re in a monogamous relationship, then you know how wonderful it can be to find someone you love so deeply.
Often times, especially through marriage, couples become a unit which can be a good thing! You might enjoy the same activities, hang out with the same people, and finish each other’s sentences.
Being in a loving relationship is an amazing thing. But sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself when every new decision you make suddenly affects another person. The good news is every couple can learn to maintain their individuality while still growing together.
Start with these tips!
Do What Makes You Happy
Relationships are all about compromise, but remember that your personal happiness is still important.
Make time for healthy hobbies that you enjoy.
Don’t be afraid to schedule a little “me” time to take care of yourself.
Make an effort to spend time apart when possible. This will help maintain other relationships in your life. it will also keep you from putting too much pressure on your partner to be your everything.
Set Healthy Boundaries Within Your Relationship
Every couple is made from two unique individuals sometimes with different opinions, thoughts, and beliefs. You have to have a good understanding of your personal self when you’re in a relationship in order to set boundaries accordingly.
You don’t have to change who you are to meet someone else’s standards. Saying “no” can help prioritize yourself and your feelings.
Ask For Guidance
No matter where you’re at in your relationship, couples therapy can help you identify what’s working and what’s not. Through couples counseling, we want to help you connect with your partner and for you to feel supported and validated. You can get that “loving feeling” back again and in a deeper way than ever before.
Couples Counseling can help couples build a firm foundation before their wedding day, help couples resolve a specific conflict or help save a marriage after infidelity. Right now, your problems seem overwhelming. But our therapists have seen other relationships in crisis. We’ve worked with other couples who are tired of arguing.
Whether you are trying to work through something small or on the brink of divorce, counseling can help. If you and your partner are ready to work on your relationship as individuals and as a couple, we’re here to support you!