Finding the Perfect Gift for the New Parent in Your Life

Photo via Pexels

by Tilda Moore

Parents often say that while having a child was the best thing that ever happened to them, it was also the scariest. Becoming a mom or dad can create anxieties we never even knew existed, and it’s easy to forget about our own needs while we’re looking after those bundles of joy. If there’s a new parent in your life, one of the easiest ways to show them you care is to give them a gift that will speak to their specific needs. Courtesy of Red Shoes Rock, here’s a list to help you get started, and never fear; it includes budget-friendly options.

Creature Comforts

Make life a little easier for the new parent in your life with these recommendations:

Around-the-House Helpers

With a new little one board, it can be easy to lose control of normal household chores. Help your loved one(s) stay afloat with these options:

Partner-to-Partner Gifting

If you and your partner are the new parents, it can be special to give them something to commemorate the moment. Here are a few suggestions:

Other Gifts

Are you still drawing a blank on what’s best for the new parents in your circle? Here are a few more options:

The perfect gift doesn’t need to be elusive. Shopping specifically with your loved one’s needs in mind will allow you to take care of their needs, which most parents could desperately use a little of. You can also find items that will get more than one year of use, which will help the parents in your life stretch their own budget.

Red Shoes Rock is a global awareness campaign giving voice and support to those affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. Let us know how we can help!

Join us in supporting sobriety during pregnancy, families after birthing, and individuals throughout their lives.

How to Teach Your Kids the Value of Self-Care

By Justin Bennett

As a parent, you know the importance of “me time” all too well. And with children prenatally exposed to alcohol or other toxins, we understand this becomes more difficult.  You need a TIME OUT for yourself – one way to do it is to TEACH YOUR KIDS to do self care giving you a break in-between as they learn. Your kids need to practice self-care too!

Teaching your kids the value of self-care can help them learn to identify and tend to their emotional and physical needs. A family self-care practice is a great way to help your kids establish healthy habits that will stick with them for the rest of their lives. Better Endings New Beginnings and Red Shoes Rock explore some ways you can encourage your kids to practice self-care!

Model Good Self-Care Practices

Kids naturally mirror the actions of their parents. If you want your kids to grow up with good habits, Verywell Family points out that you’ll need to exhibit healthy behaviors yourself. Plus, taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing will keep your mood and energy levels balanced so you can better support the self-care needs of your kids.

Managing work stress is an important element of self-care for busy parents. If you’re concerned that you may be headed towards burnout, look for ways to reduce your stress load. ZenBusiness suggests techniques to improve your focus and productivity, so you can spend less time stressing over the tasks on your to-do list and more time getting things done! Use project organization strategies to sort and organize your priorities so you can stay on top of things. And remember to schedule time for rest and relaxation!

Start the Day with a Positive Morning Routine

Starting the day with a healthy morning routine is a great way to instill the importance of self-care in your children. Big Life Journal recommends creating a morning routine that includes dedicated time for reconnecting with your kids and coming up with affirmations that encourage your kids to speak positively about themselves. Remember, self-care is about more than taking care of your body. While eating a nutritious breakfast is an important part of any healthy morning routine, this is also a good time to support the emotional health of your kids.

Help Your Kids Find Self-Care Activities They Enjoy

Self-care means something different to everyone. Your idea of a relaxing self-care activity might differ from that of your kids. Encourage your kids to discover self-care activities that they enjoy! Some ideas include playing outside, listening to calming music, creating art, playing instruments, meditating, doing yoga, and journaling. Consider also teaching your kids some mindfulness and relaxation exercises that they can use to calm themselves in stressful situations. For example, Connecticut Children’s suggests using fun strategies to teach your kids about deep breathing.

Encourage Regular Exercise

Exercise is another important element of self-care. Thankfully, kids are naturally active and love running around. It can become challenging to preserve the same level of activity as your kids get older, so you may have to step in and provide some form of motivation. For example, be sure to choose the right activities for your kid’s age to prevent them from getting bored or frustrated. Preschoolers typically enjoy playing tag or running obstacle courses while school-age kids prefer activities like playing sports or biking around with their friends.

Build Downtime into Your Schedule

We all need downtime. Between school and extracurricular activities, many kids are overscheduled, constantly moving between practices, games, studying, homework, friends, and family obligations. Kids rarely have a moment of downtime, but they need time to unwind and eliminate stress. If you’re concerned that your child is too busy, help them pare down their schedule. Make sure they have a few free days every week when they don’t have to think about their obligations. Most importantly, let them do what they want during their downtime, whether it’s playing outside or resting on the couch.

Teaching your kids how to practice self-care will lay the foundation for a healthy future. Help your kids learn to be mindful of their mental and physical needs so they can take control of their whole-body wellbeing. As a parent, this is a great chance to evaluate your own self-care habits too!

Better Endings New Beginnings provides hope for children, teens and adults living, laughing, learning and loving through the challenges before birth — including alcohol exposure (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders-FASD) and other toxins. Reach out today to find out more!

Red Shoes Rock provides Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness to the global community.

FREE RED SHOES ROCK FASD AWARE EVENT GUIDE

Invite your local community and neighbors to become part of this international essential movement

CLICK THIS LINK TO GET FREE PDF –

Join the Red Shoes Rock Movement – Embrace Our Truth
Each one can reach one.

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Warrior Mother Takes on FASD

Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneer – Birth Mom,
Warrior Mom, Karli’s Mom Kathy Mitchell – Thank you!

Moms who drink while pregnant need Hope. Kathy is the sword of truth that cuts through the darkness.

Shared by Jodee Kulp

Kathy Mitchel, spokesperson for NOFAS and her daughter, Karli.
Kathy Mitchell, spokesperson for FASD UNITED and her daughter, Karli.

I met Kathy Mitchell at the FASD Teen Adult Camp in Michigan in 2004. This incredible camp had been designed and developed by the incredible Wrybrecht family you met yesterday in my blog post—Barb, Ted and Rob, and a team of Michigan professionals and families. Their son, Rob, was the first infant diagnosed with FAS in the United States. Barb was a nurse and active in the international FASD community. Kathy and I were campers, along with Deb Evensen, Teresa Kellerman, and Ann Yurcek.

I had arrived alone, so it was a relaxing couple of days enjoying time with caregivers and professionals, teens, and young adults. Evening campfires were a calming time. That is, is unless you put Kathy Mitchell with Jodee Kulp to become the party girls in a skit to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. We were on it with full expression, and we acted our roles well. Claps and laughs and hoots, and an, “Oh, you must have been something as teenagers,” from Dr. Ed Riley followed with crowd filled laughter. Kathy puts her ALL into whatever she does and it shows. So do I.

Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell, M.H.S., L.C.A.D.C., Vice President and National Spokesperson, is a noted international speaker on FASD and Women and Addictions. She is a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor and thirty years experience as a national educator, clinician, and lecturer.

Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell is currently the Vice President and International Spokesperson for the FASD United. Formerly National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), FASD United supports families living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and prevents prenatal exposure to alcohol and other substances harmful to human development. Please stop by and dig into the new FASD United Website – it is updated and filled with current data.

FASD-United-Vertical

She has authored several published papers and chapters about FASD, the FASD Certification curriculum for addictions professionals (F-CAP), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; a Guidebook for Parents and Caregivers, and co-authored Making a Difference: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Public Awareness Guide. She served as an FASD expert and advised the writers of NBC’s Law and Order; Special Victims Unit to create an episode about FASD: “Choices.”  She provides live media interviews and has been featured on NBC’s Later Today Show, NBC’s Real Life, BBC Radio, The Washington Post, PA Today and Glamour Magazine. She has testified to the United States House of Representatives.

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Kathy is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

“Kathy Mitchell’s story of recovery is the most powerful story of recovery I have ever heard,” says Deb Evensen. “She walks her talk.”

 

Most importantly she is the mother of Karli, and is transparent in being a birth mother with a history of alcoholism.

“Today, I have a 37-year old that plays with baby dolls; she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and intellectual disability. I have another daughter that suffers with chronic migraines and a host of other health problems. My last two children both died before they were three months old. There is not a day that goes by that I do not regret the fact that I drank while pregnant. I would not wish that on another mother. – Kathy Mitchell

Kathy has conceptualized and facilitates an international birth mother mentorship programs

Her truth is the truth of many women and she shares her story below. I call her brave. 

Meet Kathy – tireless advocate for understanding and prevention of FASD.

Kathy Mitchell Tells Her Story

Recovering Hope – Part 1 – Mothers & Children on FASD

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Early Diagnosis Changes the Game

RED SHOES ROCK THANKS BARB WYBRECHT
your family changed the lives of many families for the better!

“This family is one of our giants!” And FROM THIS FAMILY we have evolved. Thank you!” — Red Shoes Rock

BarbWybrect

“We are… sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” — RJ Formanek quotes from the 12th century, attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Author John of Salisbury used a version of the phrase in a treatise on logic called Metalogicon, written in Latin in 1159. Its most familiar expression in English is by Isaac Newton in 1675: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

Barbara M. Wybrecht, is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Nursing, with post-graduate studies in the School of Public Health. She is one of four recipients of the 2009 Excellence Award given by the National Association of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFASD).

In 1973, the year FAS was identified in the United States, Barbara and her husband, Ted adopted their son Rob, the first infant in Michigan to be diagnosed at birth with the syndrome. After some articles were written, Ken Warren told Ted that Rob was the first infant diagnosed in the US. Ann Streisguth also confirmed it.

As a result of this event, and the learning that came from it, Barbara professional focus shifted to full-time work in the prevention of FASDs. Since that time she has presented her message over 900 times.

In addition, to this couples contribution to the world of FASD, this wee baby was blessed with an incredible and loving family; his father was an educator/school principal and his mother a skilled nurse. They had just skills needed to help this little one.

“Barb and Ted Wybrecht were an amazing team. Not only are they off-the-charts, great parents, but as a married couple, they have one of the most beautiful relationships I have ever seen. When you are lucky enough to get advice from them, pay attention.” — Deb Evensen

“My oldest son and I attended one of Barb’s trainings to help my son understand his little brothers and sisters. Midpoint in the day, he looked and me and said, ‘I have fetal alcohol, too.’ Barb you gave my son acceptance of himself, his disability and the courage to move into adult life. Our family thanks you. “ — Ann Yurcek

c88a3-18167423-9052034In 1992, Barbara coordinated the first conference in Michigan for parents and children with FASD, and successive national conferences in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1997 for parents and professionals.

“Thankfully, FasLink connected Barbara with our family in 1997. Barb and her husband, Ted, became trail guides to help me live, love and laugh with our daughter. Barbara was always forthright and honest in her discussion. She challenged me. She made me think and then think again. She thought with me, adding her years of experience. To you, Barbara, I am eternally grateful,” – Jodee Kulp

In 2002, Barbara created “Living and Learning with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,” a summer conference to help individuals with an Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Alcohol Related Neurodevelopment Disorders to understand their disability and find better ways to live with it. Teens and adults with FASD made up over 50 percent of the planning committee. She also coordinated a parent-mentoring program for teens, and women in treatment for substance abuse.

“It was a time when all of us came together, we shared what we learned. We leaned on each other. We became a world of friends from many countries and in many languages.” Shared Barbara. “All of our lives changed as we raised our children. Our children became our teachers.”

These camps were significant in that they brought together individuals with FASD, parents and caregivers and professionals in a relaxed camp setting. By taking down the barriers of distance and creating conversation opportunities, many friendships that had been formed only on the Internet through FASlink and Forums were made forever.

Having a diagnosis at birth was extremely helpful to both their son and significantly helped in their ability to parent him.

Although there were no conferences or books or videos on FAS in 1973, having the diagnosis helped his parents think and parent differently. And it was their thinking and parenting that blazed many trails for others to follow, tiny step-by tiny step. Since 1973, Barb has been instrumental in the development of diagnostic clinics and support groups that have been beneficial to those affected by FASD throughout Michigan and on a national level.

Barbara has continued to present workshops and she is among the leading authorities in Michigan and nationally on FASD. 

Most workshops are day long, are multidisciplinary and geared to those new to the world of FASD and related issues. Others are specifically designed for teachers, nurses, law enforcement professionals, mental health professionals, child welfare workers and parents themselves.
Specialized workshops include those on:

  • FASD and Sexuality
  • FASD and the Law
  • FASD across the Lifespan – Strategies and Interventions.

MCFARSMCFARES (Michigan Coalition for Fetal Alcohol Resources, Education, and Support) came about as a result of a call to action by Barb Wybrecht in the spring of 2003

Agencies and families came together to develop a plan to address the issue of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Macomb County. Since 2003, MCFARES has succeeded in gaining local, state and national attention by providing training, support, information, and services for anyone impacted by FASD.
MCFARES has an incredible website filled with links you need to know about. They have truly done the work of sleuthing out the details well.

Check out Michigan FASD Task Force
Barb’s determination and perseverance were an example to her son who followed in her foot-steps as an influential advocate for FAS in his own right.

“Her son, who I respect immensely,” says Jodee Kulp “really became part of the solution to the FASD puzzle. His contributions need noting.”

  • He has been involved in the areas of prevention as well as intervention. His bumper stickers patterned after bus signs in Seattle have found their way to Capetown, South Africa, and Paris, France as well as all 50 states.
  • He was featured on the video Students Like Me”.
  • He was on a national committee, NAG (National Advocacy Group) for Justice, to help individuals with disabilities understand their rights in the criminal justice system. He and his father wrote a manual to help persons with FASD navigate the Justice System.
  • He has trained peers, based on their project, “The Right Rules”.
  • He was the SAFA (Self-Advocates with FASD in Action) Project Coordinator
  • He assisted in planning the first ever conference by and for Individuals with an FASD. He was also a presenter.
  • He has In May he spoke at the FASD Center for Excellence, Building State Systems conference
  • He attended his first steering committee meeting for the FASD Center for Excellence, under SAMHSA.
  • He is the first person with an FASD to be on a national committee for FASD.
  • And he has recently married and moved into living his life.

“It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended,” shares Deb Evensen.

Red Shoes Rock says Thank You to this family of dynamos!

Join the Red Shoes Rock Movement – Embrace Our Truth
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Introducing Children With Learning Disabilities to the Arts and How It Helps Them

by Tilda Moore

Being involved in the arts can help children with learning disabilities overcome challenges they face with traditional education. Additionally, it provides them with a creative outlet to express and serves as an effective medium to learn. This guide created by Red Shoes Rock explores how to involve your child in the arts and the benefits it provides.

Here are the various type of arts your child can partake in:

  • Dancing – Does your child have a favorite singer or music group? You’re sure to find a dance tutorial of their songs online. Encourage your child to dance along with the video and join in with them. If they show interest, it could become their favored activity of the day.

For example, through dancing, your child can develop the ability to comfortably express emotion, improve balance and coordination. Additionally, being an intensive activity helps physical development and improves endurance and fitness levels.

You can consider enrolling your child in a dance class if comfortable with the idea. By engaging in dance as a group, they will learn social skills and read body language.

  • Painting or Drawing – Introducing your child to these activities is simple. Demonstrate to them the basics of how to use crayons or paints and let their imagination go wild. As they paint they will develop an understanding of colors, patterns, and textures.

Next, you can encourage them to mimic fruits, toys, or even scenery items. This helps build spatial understanding, development of motor skills, and size and depth perception, as reported by The Artful Parent.

  • Crafts – Engaging in craft can provide similar benefits as painting or drawing. Additionally, it can be used as an effective medium to teach mathematical concepts such as angles, fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and more.

A child with a learning disability might find it difficult to grasp these concepts through problems given in textbooks. But, craft encourages them to be hands-on and make it simpler to understand concepts.

  • Music – As an activity that requires concentration, and the ability to multi-task it contributes immensely towards your child’s cognitive development. According to Learning Potential, music aids in developing the left side of the brain which is responsible for language and reasoning skills. Moreover, a common advantage of playing an instrument is strong hand-eye coordination which can benefit your child in other aspects of life too.

Music can also be used as a suitable learning medium, as it is easier for children to remember information when presented as a tune. A well-known example is the alphabet song. You can adopt the same method towards teaching multiplication tables, history lessons, science concepts, and more.

Irrespective of the art form your child chooses, Bright Horizons explains the importance of showing your support to build their self-confidence. For example, if your child has shown interest in painting, collect their art pieces and frame them around the house. You can also organize an art show by inviting friends and family. Similarly, if they are a part of a dance or music group, make it a point to attend their practices and shows.

You can also pair permanence with your dedication to your child’s new world in art by creating a dedicated space in the home, whether a studio for dance or music or a workshop for painting and crafts. Adding this area as an update to your home can make good financial sense as well, as multi-use rooms can add to a home’s appraisal value; they’re much in demand among homebuyers who can fashion the space to their own likings, such as a home office or gym.

Once your child is involved in the arts, you will notice a positive difference in mood, confidence, and physical development. If this encourages you to help other kids with a learning disability, you can choose to start your own teaching classes. Utilizing your experience and knowledge, you will make a significant difference in the lives of each family you work with.

As a tip, make sure to register your teaching business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Hire a formation service such as ZenBusiness to handle all paperwork, regulation, and document submission in your state to allow you to focus on your business.

Art is a beautiful medium that helps children’s cognitive and physical development with learning disabilities. As a parent, take the initiative to expose them to various art forms and support them in expressing their creative side.

Red Shoes Rock is the global voice for prenatal alcohol exposure, raising awareness and giving voice and support to those affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Contact us today for more information or to join the cause!

Red Shoes Rock #FASD Aware – Ask me about my #RedShoes

askmeSeptember 9  is a day of celebration join us in making a statement for International FASDay

CHALLENGE #1

Today we challenge you to find a pair of red shoes and walk together with us in celebration.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER BELOW – JOIN THE MOVEMENT

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99 Days to 9/9 FASDay: Master Post

Looking for the MASTER LIST of FASD Fact – Check out Yvonne Williams Blog Page – You Red Shoes Rock this Yvonne! We are always looking for local translators to put our their own blog in their own languages.

our sacred breath

Since starting the 99 Days to FASDay in 2017, there have been updates to some posts and new ones added in 2018, 2019 and even more in 2020 with updates in research.

It became too cumbersome to remove links and release each day so for 2020 all links are valid unless an update is being made to the information.

I hope you enjoy revisiting this journey again.

01 June Day 1: 99 Days to FASDay: First Published Study Linking Prenatal Alcohol Use and Birth Defects: Dr. Paul Lemoine
02 June Day 2 of 99 Days to FASDay: What is FASD?
03 June Day 3 of 99 Days to FASDay: FASD Knows No Bounds
04 June Day 4 of 99 Days to FASDay: Genetic Differences
05 June Day 5 of 99 Days to FASDay: No Known Safe Amount of Alcohol During Pregnancy
06 June Day 6 of 99 Days to…

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CANFASD: COVID-19 TIPS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH FASD — Northwest Peace FASD Network

Information about COVID-19 or coronavirus seems to be all over the news these days. The government is recommending that Canadians practice “social distancing measures”, which means that people should stay home and avoid contact with one another. Events have been cancelled, schools and daycares have been closed, and the daily routines in workplaces are changing. […]

CANFASD: COVID-19 TIPS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH FASD — Northwest Peace FASD Network

When Going for a Walk is a Radical Act

Once again, Sandra, you reach into the hearts of parenting – living, laughing, and loving a person with FASD

My every move cannot be about others. And I really do feel sometimes like I have lost a bit of me.

FASD: Learning with Hope

BLog_walk

By SB_FASD

Stop presses!

Breaking news!

I went for a walk today.

Not a going-to-buy-slime-ingredients walk.

Not a this-dog-is-climbing-the-walls-and-needs-to-get-out walk.

Not a going-to-catch-the-train-for-work walk.

No, this was an honest-to-goodness walk. Alone. Just for me.

They talk about muscle memory. My body remembers. I once ran hard and smoothly over cross-country courses, around the lines on painted tracks, on beaches and up and down steep hills. I was, once upon a long time ago, a runner. When I stopped running, I used to go for intense walks, every morning at a fast pace, before I even had a coffee.

I was driven, in part, by the horrible illnesses my dad faced through those years. Heart attacks. Surgeries. Diabetes. Amputation. Strokes. Feeding tubes. Early death. Ironically, the closer I get to his age of death, the more lax I have become about my own health.

I can talk a good talk about…

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