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G.E.A.R. offers free parenting webinars

Apr 24, 2020

As the COVID-19 quarantine period continues into May, the G.E.A.R. Parent Network has canceled their scheduled Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week at the State House Hall of Flags and Bangor and Augusta Children’s Discovery Museums.

As an alternative, the support program now offers family-friendly webinar based activities for anyone interested in the state of Maine. In addition, they plan to implement for parents/caregivers an online support group to have a place to talk, vent and learn about resources and feel they are not alone. This is scheduled every Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For parents, caregivers and/or community partners, G.E.A.R continues to offer free educational webinars people can participate in safely from the comfort of their home. Contact them at 1-800-264-9224 for information about Children’s Mental Health Awareness.

“Surviving Parenting: Self-Care is Never Selfish” presented by Regional Parent Support Coordinator Rebecca Williamson, CFPS.

Tuesday, May 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Self-care often becomes an afterthought for parents and caregivers. The ability to treat and understand oneself with respect and kindness can be especially elusive when raising a family. In this webinar, learn how stress and anxiety affect all and what to do about it. Visitors will complete a self-care checkup and tools will be shared to create positive thinking. Join to discover how to cope when life is full but your energy tank is running on empty.

“ACEs, Being a Trauma-Informed Parent: Linking Childhood Trauma to Long-Term Health & Social Consequence”

Thursday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Presented by Diane Bouffard, childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, domestic violence or substance abuse in the home can have long-term physical, psychological, behavioral and economic consequences.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is a study that demonstrates the connection between childhood trauma and a wide array of physical and mental health problems. Despite the trauma in their lives, children can survive and even thrive. Protective factors, including healthy relationships with parents and caregivers, foster resilience in children and help them to overcome early adversity.

Learn about ACEs and how individuals, families and communities can influence the development of protective factors in a child’s life that can mitigate the impact of ACEs on his or her development.

“Let’s Create a Family Time Capsule!” facilitated by Regional Parent Support Coordinator Shannan Boyorak

Friday, May 8, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Join this activity where we will document experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic by creating a time capsule that will help capture what life is like during this historical time.

This is an opportunity for people of all ages to participate in an activity anyone can look at in years to come that will remind them how resourceful and resilient their family became and to remember the ways they were able to cope in a challenging situation.

“Managing Stress: Strategies for Recognizing and Reducing Stress” presented by Regional Parent Support Coordinator Shannan Boyorak

Tuesday, May 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.

We all have stress in our lives. The stress is even greater for parents of a child with behavioral health needs. Join the conversation and discovery of what stress is, how stress affects everyone, how to differentiate between good and bad stress and learn about some different stress relief and reduction strategies that can help us to live healthier lives.

“Helping Your Child Manage Their Meltdowns” presented by Diane Bouffard

Wednesday, May 13, from 9 to 11 a.m.

Feeling like you're always walking on eggshells when dealing with a child’s meltdowns? At a loss about how to help your child to be successful? Join the discussion about what meltdowns are and strategies that can be used to help manage these meltdowns.

“What’s Your Parenting Style? Identifying Your Style and How it Affects Your Interaction with Your Children” presented by Regional Parent Support Coordinator Jessica Hall

Thursday, May 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This workshop is intended to help learn and identify people's current parenting style and recognize the impact it has on their child’s development.

Through sharing information and discussion, visitors will be given tools to use to evaluate both positive and negative influences in their lives and how it relates to parenting styles.

Parents and caregivers can improve their skills by having an understanding of parenting styles, discipline, cultural influences and environmental issues.

“Do You Speak Teen?” presented by Regional Parent Support Coordinator Rebecca Williamson

Tuesday, May 19, from 1 to 3 p.m.

This workshop will explore modern technology and give new ideas to peek into your teen’s world. The framework of the 40 Developmental Assets will also be shared.

Minneapolis-based Search Institute identified 40 building blocks of healthy development – known as “developmental assets” – that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring and responsible adults.

“Impulsivity & Disruptive Behaviors in Children & Youth” presented by Regional Parent Support Coordinator Shannan Boyorak

Thursday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.

All children have outbursts from time to time; however, some children have chronic problems in their ability to regulate emotions and behaviors even when adverse consequences may occur. This lack of self-control can cause significant distress or impairment in a child’s or youth’s life.

A number of different diagnoses are unified by impulsive and disruptive behaviors, including oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder and impulse control disorder.

In this workshop, learn more about the disorders defined in the chapter on disruptive, impulse-control and conduct disorders by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, what treatments are available and what parents/caregivers can do to better respond to disruptive behavior.

“Family Rock Painting” presented by Regional Parent Support Coordinator Jessica Hall

Friday, May 22, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is celebrated nationally to bring to light the importance of caring for every child’s mental health needs and highlights that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development.

Children’s mental health matters!

This year, G.E.A.R Parent Network invites all families to celebrate virtually with rock painting. We will use imagination to take us under the sea and use creativity to make our “school” of Children’s Mental Health Matters fish.

Call G.E.A.R. Parent Network today to register at 1-800-264-9224.

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