May/June GRG Connections

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Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

Issue 20                                  Volume 20

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The Dependency System

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

10:00am to 1:00pm

Join us in Exhibit Hall B at the PBC Cooperative Extension Service Center at 559 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach, and learn about the dependency system from Kim Thai of Child Net.

Seating is limited.  Call 561-233-1742 by Monday, May 6, 2013 to RSVP.

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Coping with Changes and Challenges

 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren state “This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be!”

Grandchildren being raised by Grandparents state “This isn’t the way I want it to be!”

 Trying to cope with changes and difficult situations can be challenging. Coping skills come in a variety of forms both for you and your grandchildren. A simple coping strategy is to start by taking a few simple deep breaths. Deep breathing allows oxygen to flow through your body which sometimes can create a calmer and more relaxed state of mind. Next focus on your strengths and what it is you like to do? Begin with your 5 coping senses:  Eyes (Try positive visualization exercises), Ears (Listen to soothing music), Mouth (Try deep breathing exercises!), Touch (Caress a pet) and Smell (Try aromatherapy oils or a fresh walk outside).

 For more information on coping skills for yourself and your grandchildren, go to:

 Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Taking Care of Yourself, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1114.

Stress Management: Understanding Stress, http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy518

To Reduce Stress with Your Senses, http://bitesizewellness.com/2012/06/reduce-stress-senses/

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Positive CommunicationMP900382661

Excerpted from Family Treasures byDrs. Nick Stinnett and John DeFrain

What makes a family strong?  All families have strengths!  And, all families have challenges and some areas of potential growth.  If one looks only for problems in a family, one will only see problems.  If one also looks for strengths, one will find strengths.

Strong families have six characteristics: Appreciation and Affection, Commitment, Positive Communication, Spend Enjoyable Time Together, Spiritual Well-Being, and Ability to Manage Stress and Crisis Effectively.

Communications is on everyone’s list of the qualities of strong families–open, honest, straightforward and clear communication.  Positive communications–above all else–is the key to success.

Each family member should fill out the quiz below separately.  Place an “S” for Strength, a “G” for an area of potential Growth, and an “NA” for Not Applicable.  Then come together as a family and talk about your answers and the strengths you have with others in your family.

In Our Family. . .

  • _____ We feel comfortable sharing our feelings with each other.
  • _____ It is easy to understand each other’s feelings.
  • _____ We like to listen to each other.
  • _____ We respect each other’s point  of view.
  • _____ We enjoy our family discussions.
  • _____ We give each other a chance to explain ourselves.
  • _____ We share funny stories together.
  • _____ Putdowns are rare.
  • _____ Sarcasm is not generally used.
  • _____ All things considered,communication in our family is positive.

Strong families are creative and caring in the way they deal with conflict situations.  Strong families. . .

  1. Air grievances while they are current.  They don’t hoard complaints to use as weapons.
  2. Deal with one problem at a time that is manageable.  Strong families don’t try to manage more than one problem at a time.
  3. Have a greater track record of successes in solving problems because a specific complaint is easier to treat.
  4. Become allies.  They attack the problem rather than each other.
  5. Ban the bombs – using sensitive areas as attack points.  Members of strong families have declared a freeze on such nuclear weapons.
  6. Open up understanding.  They check to be sure they understand what a spouse or child is saying:  they actively listen to feelings as well as words.

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Join us Wednesday June 12, 2013 from 10:00am to 1:00pm for guest speaker Jennifer Rey, Violence Prevention Coordinator Aids to Victims of Domestic Abuse.

Her topic will be:

Healthy Relationships, Safe Touch & “No Means No”

Seating is limited. Call 561-233-1742 by Monday, June 10, 2013 to RSVP

Exhibit Hall B at the PBC Cooperative Extension Service Center

559 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach.

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Grandparents,

The GRandS sustainability process has begun……..based on your feedback, we are asking local speakers from the community to come to your groups and speak to you. So far we have interest in:  Advocacy, Counseling, Cycle of Domestic Violence, DCF and its documentation procedures, Government, Hospice, Legal Aid, Local Agencies, Medical, Health & Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, Schools, and the Sheriff’s Unit/Law Enforcement (Drugs, addiction, bullying & internet safety).  Please continue to give us your requests on what local agencies & topics you would like to learn more about.

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