‘Tis the season of joy and happiness. Well, at least that’s what commercials, songs, and society says to us. And, for many it is. But right along with the cup of cheer, they’re is a pound of stress.
Each summer the kids are out of school, the fog (usually) rolls in along with thousands of tourists, and we all begin the hunt for fun new ways to spend our days. Luckily, in the Bay Area, there is no shortage of activities to get out the wiggles and induce the giggles. Here’s a list of my favorite free summertime activities (and a few I haven’t yet tried but hope to check off my list this summer).
Here at the Prevention Center one of our many services is a 24-hour parental stress line called the TALKLine, where parents can find a supportive, reflective listener to help them process their parenting challenges. The line received 7,179 calls last year alone. As an organization we’re focused on collecting data and making decisions based on what we collect. So I decided to take a closer look at our caller data. I was curious to see what our callers most pressing needs are and how those needs have changed over the last year.
The Prevention Center has learned something important in our more than 40 years of service to families in San Francisco (which recent research confirms): ultimately, families don’t need us to tell them how they are at risk for child abuse or what’s wrong with them. To prevent child abuse, families need us to support and build their strengths: the ways they are already capable of protecting and caring for their children. We call these strengths “Protective Factors.”
A mother walks in the door. She is tired, stressed, and trying to care for three kids. She does not remember having a loving mother herself. Her father worked all the time. He was not there to shield his daughter from her mother’s blows. Now this daughter is trying to be the loving mother she never had. It is not easy. She needs help.
The Children’s Playroom, here at the Prevention Center, houses many different toys for our young guests. From ticklish Elmo’s, to trains sets, to a mini air-hockey table. However, one of our all-time favorites has always been one that comes and goes from the menagerie: the cardboard box. Whenever we get our hands on a nice, big cardboard box, we can’t resist making use of it.
Last week we got hold of an extra large cardboard box, about the size of a small closet. We decided it was the perfect size for a time machine.
I love the holidays. There are lights and cheer on every corner of San Francisco. Visitors come to town, school’s out, and family is all around. Whether it’s entertaining guests or getting cooped up energy out, here are some of my favorite ways to spend the day.
Best part, all are free.
Continue reading Ten fun-filled (holi)days