We all have felt like we are just surviving in life, it is a natural feeling. It isn’t always the picture perfect image from a storybook we have for our family, but for some this is not just a temporary stop on the journey of life. For some families, this is a way of life day in and day out that causes stress, anxiety and other health concerns on both caregivers and children. Do we as 4-H volunteers know i our families are surviving or thriving when they come to meetings? According to www.TalkSooner.org, there are several characteristics of a Thriving Family, but we will focus on two of those: quality family time and positive supportive adults for caregivers and children.
4-H club meetings can provide both of those supportive characteristics for our families. What better time to get a family to be focused on each other and experiencing quality family time then engaging Cloverbuds and caregivers in an activity that has them working together at a club meeting. An activity that allows for creativity and flexibility is a win-win for engaging caregivers and children in collaboration. Designing your family shield is a good activity that includes writing and drawing components. A family shield can be printed or downloaded from the following link. https://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/Education/learning-resources/lessons-activities/greco-roman-myths/coat-of-arms.pdf. The shield should have four sections and a banner across the bottom where you can list your family name. Caregivers and children should complete one section on the shield for each of the following prompts:
- People we Love (Make a list)
- Family Fun (Draw a picture)
- People that we can Count on (Make a list)
- How our Family Communicates (Pictures or a list)
4-H volunteers should be a positive adult role model that supports youth in their club and encourages children to explore their interests and learn new skills. As 4-H volunteers you can also be that supportive adult that a Cloverbud caregiver might need in their life to move their family from surviving to thriving. Engage caregivers in the Cloverbud experiences during your club meetings on a quarterly schedule or provide time for them to talk with another 4-H volunteer while at the club meeting. I think you can agree that we all can use another supportive adult in our lives and someone else “in your corner” when life throws you a curve ball.
Source: TalkSooner.org. (n.d.). About the thriving families campaign and the Northwest Quadrant. Retrieved on November 15, 2022, from https://talksooner.org/thrivingfamilies/