Connecting for Kids provides education and support to families with concerns about their child. It serves all families, including those children with and without formal diagnoses. Each month, it is offering Zoom educational programs, support groups, a Parent Match Program and other resources.
Behavior Series: Tantrum Tamer Toolbox – Stop the Meltdown Before it Starts! (Virtual)
January’s Tool: Tantrum Tamer Toolbox Overview
Do you wish you had a kit filled with “tools” you could use to stop meltdowns before they start? Do you want strategies to motivate your child toward positive behavior? Join each month to learn how to use one of the tools in the Tantrum Tamer Toolbox to help your child, 18 months to age 6, control behavior and manage emotions. This program is designed for children with or without identified development concerns. This program offers a safe space to connect with both our professionals and other families and the educational portion will be recorded. Register and attend the program to receive instructions on how to pick up your Tantrum Tamer Toolkit at a designated library. One free kit per household , 7-8 p.m.
Concerned? Ask Us! How to Find a Mental Health Provider (Virtual)
The ongoing stress and uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic can wear anyone down, but children may have an especially tough time coping emotionally. Do you see signs of stress and struggle in your child? Finding the right mental health provider for your child can be overwhelming. Group discussion shares ideas and helps brainstorm accessible options for your child. You’ll be able to connect with other families and also have the opportunity to meet 1:1 with a FRS virtually to find specific resources that are available and a good fit for your family. This program will not be recorded. 7-8 p.m. This program is supported by a grant from the Community West Foundation.
Interactive Workshops: Black Families Building Partnerships for Success (Virtual)
Dealing with health and education issues can be tough. This can be even harder for families that identify as Black Americans, who often deal with unequal treatment and outcomes. Do you want to learn how to overcome racial biases and find solutions for your child when working with health care providers, therapists and educators? If so, register for one or both of these workshops that focus on Black American families working with professionals and dealing with disparities. The workshops, are designed to be a safe space for Black American parents and caregivers of children aged 0-12 years to talk about challenges and work on solutions and will not be recorded. If you are interested in learning more, register and you will be contacted by a Connecting for Kids staff member. Participants will receive an advocacy kit with course materials. The workshops are presented in partnership with Euclid Public Library.
January 16 and 23
Advocacy & Allies
This two-day workshop covers what it takes to be a good advocate and how to gather a team of allies. 1-2 p.m.
January 30 and February 6
Problem-Solving & Providers
This two-day workshop focuses on finding reliable information and problem-solving. The Advocacy & Allies session is not a prerequisite to take this workshop. 1-2 p.m.
Coffee and Chat: Continuing on in a Pandemic: Fighting the Post-Holiday Blues (Virtual)
Did the pandemic drastically change your holiday plans? Do you feel tired, worn out and sometimes just plain sad about everything that the pandemic has forced us to miss out on? Join this interactive support group via Zoom to meet other families and find encouragement despite the pandemic. Lisa will walk us through how we can use anticipation to cope with stress. This program is a safe space and will not be recorded. Register and attend this program and earn a free journal. 7-8 p.m This program is presented in partnership with Westlake Porter Public Library.
Coffee and Chat: Music for Mental Health: Coping Skills for Caregivers (Virtual)
This program is open to any caregiver who needs support during this pandemic, regardless of how much their child is struggling. This month, the music therapist will present to you a song about change then, lead you through several music experiences that will allow you to externalize feelings about change, process those feelings and find new ways to cope with change. Come and connect with other families as we use music to cope with our ever-present struggles. Attendees will listen to live music, access their creative side with songwriting and leave the group with new and positive ways to cope with change. This program is for adults only and will not be recorded. 7-8 p.m. This program is supported by a grant from the Nordson Corporation Foundation.
January 20, 27, February 3 & 10
Interactive Workshop: Healing from the Trauma of Institutional Racism (Virtual)
Do you identify as a Black American who feels the effects of institutional racism? Are you currently raising a child aged birth – 12 years? If so, join Anna Jones, LISW, of Cleveland State University for this four-week workshop, which will help you move forward despite the trauma. She will help you see and stop patterns of trauma survival that can affect you and your children and practice hands-on self-care and healing techniques. The workshop is designed to be a safe space for Black American parents and caregivers of children aged 0-12 years and will not be recorded. This workshop is open to residents of the Greater Cleveland area. 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Presented in partnership with Mycom and Cuyahoga County Public Library who will have devices or hotspots available if you need them to participate. Participants will receive a self-care kit with course materials that can be picked up at their local branch.
Coffee and Chat: LGBTQ: Support and Resources for Families: Grief and Pride —
The Emotions of LGBTQ+ Parenting (Virtual)
Is your child questioning gender identity or sexual orientation? As a caregiver or family member, how can you be supportive and affirming? Join Kristen Pepera, MEd, LPCC-S, and Lisa Pepera, MEd, LPCC-S, of Colors+, as well as other families to discuss gender nonconformity. This month our presenters will explore the journey of emotions had by many parents of children who come out as LGBTQ+. This program will teach you how to recognize your own emotions but still support your child .We will also discuss the article titled, “You Can Grieve and Support Your Child”. This program is a safe space and will not be recorded. 7-8 p.m.
Anxiety and Attention Series: Electronic Addiction and Distance Learning (Virtual)
Are there ways to stop your child from toggling between games and classwork when they are distance learning? Should you limit screen time when it’s your child’s only way to connect with friends? Jay Berk, PhD, psychologist, author, and international speaker of Jay Berk, PhD and Associates, will discuss the most common concerns elementary-aged families have raised about electronics during this pandemic. This program includes a live Q&A with Dr. Berk where he will field questions from families on their specific situations. Join the community of families with an elementary-aged child who struggles with attention and anxiety. This program is for adults only and a portion will be recorded. 7-8 p.m. This program is presented in partnership with Westlake Porter Public Library.
Speaker Series: How to Communicate Effectively with the School (Virtual)
What are some ways you can improve communication with your child’s school? How can you more effectively ask for support? Join Karla Fitch, MTSC, of Connecting for Kids as she teaches families how to create and use a communications binder. Karla will walk attendees through the documents a family should have readily available and discuss the importance of each. She will also demonstrate ways to use the binder throughout the year to communicate your child’s needs. All participants will be given supplies to put together your own communications binder. During the event you will learn how to obtain your free binder kit.This program is for adults only. 7-8 p.m. This program will not be recorded. One kit per household while supplies last.
This program is co-sponsored by the Parent Mentors of the Educational Service Center of Lorain County and is supported by a grant from the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River – Sunrise and Noon Clubs, Rotary Club of North Ridgeville, Rotary Club of Westlake-Bay Village, and West Shore Rotary.
January 14, 16, 23 &29
Virtual Music Therapy & More Theme: Behavioral Goals/Daily Living Skills
January’s Music Therapy & More will use music to help with daily living skills such as getting dressed, following directions and controlling impulses. The therapist will also use music to help in the development of fine and gross motor skills as well as coping skills. The session will use household items to make music such as a large bowl to use as a drum and something that jingles such as bells, keys or a bag of coins. Come prepared to learn about getting dressed with a hat, gloves, coat and scarf or other winter clothing items. With Zoom you can view the music therapist live and participate in real time. Families can actively engage with the music therapist, talk to each other and enjoy the program together. Dates are Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. (Supported by a grant from The Nordson Corporation Foundation) and Jan 16, 23 & 29 at 10:30 a.m. (supported by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and presented in partnership with Westlake Porter Public Library.)