The parent committee supports parents and families to become better equipped with the knowledge and skills to keep their children healthy and safe. We do this by providing current information and resources to support mental health, chemical health, and overall student wellness. Research supports that parents are the number one influence on their children! Be an advocate for your child; become connected, support their needs, provide a healthy environment, and give them the resources they need for health, wellness and success.
Learn more about specific issues surrounding mental wellness, opioids, tobacco/e-cigarettes/vaping, marijuana, and alcohol by visiting our "initiatives" tab above, or to identify resources in our community click on the links below.
To find a safe prescription drug disposal location click here: https://www.hennepin.us/medicine
Summer is HERE and many of you are looking forward to sleep and free time. Youth will have more time to breathe and explore their interests beyond school, but so often downtime becomes screen time. Summer’s wide open time spans can heighten battles over technology use.
Here are some ideas for managing screen time this summer:
- Take a moment to ask your kids if they have anything they want to do, people they want to see, projects they want to take on, or finish during summer time? See if you can get them to say one or two specific things… that are free of screen time.
- Learn to play an instrument… pick up a guitar, enroll in piano or voice lessons. Pick up a set of drum sticks. Did you know you can pick up a beginner guitar for under $20, download a free tuning app on your phone, and take free lessons on You Tube!? Provide your child the opportunity to pick up a new and lifelong skill set.
- The more you can have systems in place to have tech go off at defined times, the better. Despite the fact that it is not fun to police screen time, it is important to limit time on phones, on computers, and on gaming consoles. There are a number of apps and mechanisms available to monitor and limit screen time.
- Now is a good time to get more creative about possible “house help” projects for the summer (aka chores but I prefer house help)....thinking up new tasks that will give your children new skills. It’s amazing how much these skills will come to help them in the future… consider a fun new paint color for a room, cooking a family meal, planting a garden, or making a composting area, even building a bench or a fire pit area. These projects not only provide a way to contribute to the family and be away from the screen but each of these can be enjoyed by your child for years to come.
- Summer is a great time to encourage creative projects using technology. Did you know that on average kids only spend 3% of their screen time doing “content creation” such as making videos or composing music on the computer? You might suggest that your video gamer consider learning how to design and code their own video game. Or, how about your kids that love to listen to music, see if they will try to write their own songs on GarageBand? Your YouTube watching tweens and teens might enjoy shooting their own movie right on their phone camera and then learning how to edit it on the computer in iMovie or another program.
- Reading—sure enough, reading has gone way down over the past few years but it does not have to be that way. We are fortunate to have a bounty of beautiful libraries within the county. Think about a day at the library complete with a stop at the coffee shop or Stay tuned for some great titles!
Here are a few questions to get the conversation going:
- What are 2 things you would like to accomplish this summer?
- Is there a new tech skill, like video editing or creating music or coding that you might be interested in learning more about? How about a non tech tool- painting, playing an instrument, a new sport?
- How much time do you think is reasonable per day this summer for you to spend doing things like playing video games or scrolling social media?
- What “house help” projects can you come up with that would teach you a skill you are interested in—or at least mildly interested in? Or at least not completely dreading?
Click below to find more information on community resources, counseling, and more surrounding mental health issues for your youth.
High school students can access free, onsite, confidential chemical health counseling through a partnership between MHS and Relate Counseling Center.
Resources for parents including ongoing workshops, monthly support groups, tutoring, diagnostic testing for children with learning disabilities and more.
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LOOKING FOR HELP RESOURCES??
- Back to School Edition (September 2016, High School)
- Smart Decisions are Safe Decisions (October 2016, High School/Middle School)
- Smart Decisions are Safe Decisions (October 2016, Elementary)
- Safe Winter Break Newsletter (December 2016, High School/Middle School)
- Drug & Alcohol Facts Week e-Newsletter (January 2017, High School)
- Drug & Alcohol Facts Weeks e-Newsletter (January 2017, Middle School)
- Drug & Alcohol Facts Week e-Newsletter (January 2017, Elementary School)
- Preparing for Spring Break (March 2017, High School/Middle School)