Family Connect & Support

Resources & Encouragement during our Triumphs & Challenges


Sharing our joys and concerns is part of our journey in community, but it is especially important during times like these when we are navigating a pandemic. We hope these resources will uplift and strengthen you while we make our way together in a "new world." What an opportunity for positive growth and change!

A Letter from our DRE

Dear UUFP Families,

I know you are all feeling the stress of the Coronavirus situation. There are so many unknowns that are causing anxiety and even fear. We may be getting misinformation, lack of information or information overload which may be increasing our concerns. With all of the cancellations, of school, work, special events and trips, we may be feeling disappointment and sadness as well. Our children may be worried about themselves, their friends, their teachers and family members. All of these feelings are natural, but can easily overwhelm us during times like these.

It is very important for us to take care of ourselves and each other. As you have heard several thousand times by now, wash your hands. But also, get enough sleep, eat well and take your vitamins. Enjoy extra time with family, and be attentive to family members who may be finding it hard to cope. Give each other the space they need to keep calm and apologize when you get on each other’s nerves.

As you probably know by now, we have begun to switch many of our regularly scheduled services and activities to an online format. Sunday services are happening each week at 11:00 a.m. Children and youth are invited to stay after each service to check in with each other and share something from their homes with the rest of us; a pet, special toy, a joke. Even though we can't be together physically, we can still enjoy the feeling of connection that is so important to our UUFP community. Please check your email and UUFP Facebook pages to keep updated.

Take care everyone. Don’t forget you can still reach out to your UUFP friends and let them know you are thinking about them.

Many blessings,

Joanne Dingus, Director of Religious Education

P.S. I hope following resources will nurture and strengthen you at this time.


Connected Parent Support Group

This is a group where parents can meet to talk about their current parenting concerns and find support from one another. They usually gather one Sunday afternoon a month, but the schedule is in flux during the pandemic. Please contact dre@uufp.org for updated information about joining us.


Helpful Ideas from our Friends at Thomas Jefferson Memorial UU

> Light a Chalice every Wednesday

The Religious Education Committee invites you to light a chalice on Wednesday nights as a shared spiritual practice uniting our church family.

Community Chalice Lighting –Atticus Palmer

We call this light before us in hope that we may always remain a strong community
working together to make the world a better place. 

When we are grieving or sad
When we are challenged
When we need help
This flame guides us out of the darkness.

When we are cheerful
When we celebrate
When we accomplish a great task
When we return to a place that makes us happy
The chalice reminds us to share our happiness with others.

> Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Kids Tell Us: What's Hard and What's Great About Being Home So Much
Listen to this insightful piece with resources to use with the children in your life from NPR's The Takeaway.

Karen Young, creator, focuses on teaching parents and caregivers how to help children and youth deal with anxiety, recently offered an information filled Facebook live presentation. In it she addresses a range of issues children and teens are facing as we continue social distancing and sheltering in place due to the pandemic.

Always remember, you are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think, and LOVED more than you know.

Here are the topics with timestamps that Ms. Young covers in the complete presentation:

1:10: The 'fight' part of anxiety—tantrums, aggression, big feelings—why it happens and what to do.
4:20: Big feelings are a call for us to come closer (even when they don't feel that way).
6:00: Why 'little' things can tip them over the edge, and how to respond.
9:25: When their anxiety triggers ours—when we fight with them instead of for them—why, and what to do.
10:50: The good news about self-regulation.
16:05: How to manage transitions.
18:10: Squabbling with your teen? This might help.
18:50: The opportunities that sit inside anxiety/anger/big feelings.
20:04: Adolescents, big feelings, regulation—what they need from us.
22:50: When big anxiety looks like big fight.
24:54: How it helps to 'meet the energy with similar energy, but not similar anger'.
29:10: How mindfulness supports a long term strengthening of the brain against anxiety.
32:00: Dealing with other stressors on top of social isolation.
33:35: How to expand the capacity to cope with anxiety and stress.
35:15: When kids won't talk about it.
35:25: Why some kids might be regressing at the moment (clinginess, asking for help when they haven't needed it before).
40:00: Routines—how they help (and it's okay if some slip).
42:17: Why does my teen hear me as "angry" when I'm not?
46:37: How do we role model strength and calm when we're feeling anxious ourselves?
49:50: Sleep—strategies to help with peaceful pillow time.
1:03:02: "Only children" in social isolation.
1:05:31: Dealing with sibling squabbles
1:08:28: Social media and screen time.

> Seven Ways to Support Kids and Teens through the Coronavirus Pandemic

Click here for helpful information and advice for parents and caregivers from The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds.

> The Ultimate Kid's Guide to the Coronavirus

Here's a resource designed to help kids understand more about the science of the virus from Livescience. Parents and caregivers should look at the site first to make sure it feels age appropriate and then are encouraged to explore the site with their child(ren).

 

> A Nourishing Practice for All Ages

> A Sweet Video about Animal Hugs


Enjoy this story of "Wendy the Unicorn" by our friend and author, Julian Padowicz, with illustration by our DRE, Joanne Dingus!

Book your tickets