The Guidance Center offers support, counseling, medication guidance and parenting classes. Call them directly to inquire about their programs (on our tab for "Resources for Mental Health Counseling"
This is an article from Mindshift, the link to the article is here: ARTICLE
"In the world’s first history book, Herodotus recounts how the ancient Lydians faced a prolonged period of food scarcity. Months passed without relief and despair set in, spurring the desperate Lydians to implement an unusual solution. Life was organized according to a two-day schedule, where they fasted on the first day and played games to distract from hunger, while on the second day they ate and abstained from play. Herodotus writes that the people lived according to this pattern for eighteen years, survived the famine, and invented some of the games that we enjoy today.
Three thousand years later, we stand to learn much from the Lydians. Games might be a timely balm as we grapple with our own social crisis. French philosopher David Émile Durkeim believed that games are a cornerstone of human bonding, while their power to absorb and distract helps ease our thoughts from the troubles at hand. Also, digital games can simulate vast navigable virtual spaces, an attractive commodity when access to real world space is restricted. But, unlike the Lydians, we already have tens of thousands of games ready to go, many of which have been designed to dissolve physical distance.
"As we adjust to a prolonged sojourn in the great indoors, the games included here may help ease the burden of confinement. Players can draw comfort from bridging distance through online collaboration, traveling the virtual world, sharing struggles, or getting a daily fitness fix, all without having to step outside.
Kind WordsKind Words’ core mechanic is meaningful human contact. Players can anonymously write short letters to share their struggles or respond to others with supportive words. After the tutorial, all letters and responses are produced by real people. This little game with a big heart seems ideally suited to our current circumstances as it transcends space with its anonymous virtual network that encourages positive interactions, mutual comfort and support. It’s also a fun way for kids to exercise reading, writing and emotional intelligence through empathetic engagements. Not surprisingly, many recent letters address social distancing issues which grant ample opportunity to connect on the foundation of shared experience.
Doesn’t it feel like a good time for a mystical pilgrimage across the desert? Journey is a striking work of video game art where a player traverses a surreal desert landscape as they make their way to a distant mountain. The soothing soundtrack, austere expanses and calming rhythm of play are a powerful antidote to the doldrums of social isolation. The best part is that you are not alone. At every level, one might encounter another anonymous player with whom they can exchange magic scarves and form a temporary alliance. Communication is limited to avatar motion and nonverbal chimes or “pings.” Strangely, these constraints deepen the emotional connection between players as it impedes potentially toxic behavior. Journey is a powerful metaphor that binds inward and outward voyages, but perhaps the most relevant message it delivers is its persistent reminder that less is more.
Stardew Valley The pastoral life calls in Stardew Valley, where you’re an urban office worker who inherits an abandoned plot of land from your grandfather. Fed-up with the city grind, you decide to take the plunge and start a new life in Pelican Town, an idyllic 16-bit farming community. Soon, you’re clearing land, managing crops, monitoring your sleep cycles, visiting the general store, socializing with the townsfolk and exploring the surrounding countryside. The surprise hit of 2016 is a refreshing tend-and-befriend game with throwback graphics and diverse tasks that will keep you blissfully occupied for hours. You can also farm with friends: there’s a multiplayer co-op version that lets up to four players work together, share an income and even tie the knot.
Animal Crossing: New HorizonFresh off the press, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest installment of the enduring life simulation franchise where players explore a cartoony paradiscal island and build a thriving community of cutesy animal citizens. The open-ended sim is a highly customizable sandbox where players build, collect, craft, grow, fish, trade, play and socialize. Time on the island is tied to the real world clock, the weather is in flux and the flora and fauna change according to the seasons. Four can collaborate on the same system and up to eight online players can meet to work and play on the island.
GeoGuessrWhile we await regularly scheduled flights to resume, GeoGuessr lets us explore the world from the comfort of home. It leverages Google Maps and Street View technology to drop you somewhere on the globe to wander around searching for clues to determine your location. Street signs, landscapes, flora, fauna, company logos, store signs and architecture all provide clues to help you figure out whether you’ve been beamed to the heart of Mongolia or deposited in downtown Nairobi. There are diverse challenges available and those who aren’t ready to go global can choose to materialize at landmarks, specific countries, or U.S. capitals. Once you’ve satisfied your wanderlust, hand it over to the kids for an entertaining boost to their geographic knowledge and critical thinking skills.
The Outer WildsAfter you’ve exhausted your virtual tour of the world, you might consider heading off planet to the Outer Wilds. The recent winner of BAFTA’s Best Game of 2020 award is sci-fi on the surface, but Outer Wilds is a gentle, carefully crafted masterpiece that rewards careful exploration. This time, you’re a rookie alien astronaut caught in a 22-minute time loop that always ends with a massive supernova, blackout and you wake up at the campfire starting position again. Rinse, but not quite repeat, as every churn of the Groundhog Day cycle reveals a new piece of the puzzle as you learn why you are trapped in the loop. It is ultimately a story about community and connection that caused one reviewer to confess that “Outer Wilds’ final revelations left a mark that will be on my soul...one that pulls at me every time I hear its simple, enthralling theme music.”
Dungeons & DragonsIn case you didn’t notice, Dungeons & Dragons is back and bigger than ever. The iconic sword and sorcery tabletop role-playing game (RPG) with the eccentric dice has enjoyed a massive resurgence as an embodied alternative to online socialization. Besides its mainstream popularity, educators, therapists and parents have leveraged D&D to encourage literacy, STEM and social and emotional wellbeing. The pen-and-paper game was designed to be played around a table; however, it takes more than a lockdown to subdue. Wizards of the Coast curates a wealth of free tools and resources to help transition your D&D campaign online, and Polygon offers a guide to help make the shift with other RPGs. Roleplay is cathartic, and tabletop RPGs are ultimately collaborative storytelling experiences, a fundamental human impulse to strengthen social cohesion.
MinecraftMinecraft is in a category all its own, and a mainstay of every video game list ever. It’s the second best selling title of all time, the commercial video game most widely used in education and it remains enormously popular with players of all ages. Blockish avatars explore, mine and build structures ranging from simple homes to sophisticated circuits. Geographically distanced friends can collaborate on projects, and it’s even possible to build a computer or stage a live performance in the virtual world. For tens of millions of youth (and adults) around the world, Minecraft is a safe and familiar place to converse, compete, collaborate and, best of all, create.
Ring Fit Adventure and Just DanceFinally, physical exercise is a cornerstone of wellbeing, and games can help with that too. There is no end to online fitness videos but, let’s face it, sometimes the motivation just isn’t there. Some may be more willing to build up a sweat if they have to battle monsters and clear obstacles in a dungeon. Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure, the spiritual successor to Wii Sports, uses motion sensors, a plastic ring peripheral and an RPG narrative to incentivize a workout. It also includes more traditional guided exercise routines. If you prefer to boogie, Just Dance curates classic and contemporary dance hits and scores players on how well they can execute the guided moves, while co-op mode allows for dance offs and collaborative routines.
Dutch historian John Huizinga believed that games are magic circles whose self-contained rules and protocols separate them apart from the real word. Today, it might be more applicable to think of games as magic networks rather than circles, meaningfully connecting people far and wide through designed experiences, and offering a refuge from our refuge. A wayward Danish prince who was also trapped at home once said, “I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space.” With a little help from modern technology, so can we.
We need to know what is happening, these are the websites that are good resources for more information.
Important COVID-19 Websites:
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has temporarily suspended evictions in Michigan. This is from the State of Michigan
Freddie Mac -- Offering mortgage relief options for those who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to a decline in income, including forbearance for up to 12 months, waiving penalties and fees, halting foreclosure sales/evictions of borrowers in Freddie Mac-owned homes until May 17, and more. myhome.freddiemac.com/own/getting-help-disaster.html
Fannie Mae - Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer. Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days. Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. https://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/corporate-news/2020/covid-homeowner-assistance-options-7000.html
The Homeless Shelters Directory is a directory of shelters and other homeless services for people with urgent housing needs. You can find support close to you.
HUD Resources/Links: www.hud.gov/coronavirus
Explaining Coronavirus to your Children
Read the article from Detroit PBS KIDS: www.dptv.org/about/media/detroit-public-tv-to-provide-essential-educational-resources-to-caregivers-during-coronavirus-crisis/
You probably grew up watching PBS KIDS and know it is a safe and nurturing place for children. As we begin the first day of at-home learning for thousands of children on Monday, Detroit PBS KIDS wants to be your partner in providing the very best in educational programming and resources. We will give you ideas daily to support in-home learning and fun activities that bring to life the learning provided by Detroit PBS KIDS television programming.
PARENTS: Making Kids Feel Safe
This is a stressful time for everyone and especially for our youngest learners, whose routines are about to undergo a major change – change that they may not fully understand.
If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, this short article on how to talk to your kids should help.
We recommend making the conversation E.A.S.Y. when discussing issues like this with young children:
Looking for more? The Daniel Tiger team has a suggested activity to help calm your 2-8-year-old.
Check out even more resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).
PARENTS: Learning Resources and Activities
Featured App: PBS KIDS Games
PBS KIDS Games app has more than 100 free games for your 2-8-year-olds. In this safe learning environment, kids learn science, math reading, creativity and more. Play mazes, puzzles, dress-up, coloring and more. The games feature their favorite PBS KIDS characters and help teach everything from the ABC’s and shapes to reading and math. Free for iOS and Android devices in the app store, and no in-app purchases required.
Preschool to Grade 2: Make a Boat
Will a toy car float? How about a tin pie plate? In this short video from The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!, Nick and Sally test some objects in their backyard wading pool (a bathtub makes a good substitute), to see what will float and what won’t.
Grades 3-5: Measuring Length Precisely
In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad must remove a voice box from a giant statue without touching the laser alarms that protect it. They need an exact measurement, and your student will be asked to help! A ruler is needed.
Grades 6-8:Dunk Tank!
In this interactive math game, learners explore mean, media, mode, range and how to recognize which central tendency best represents a set of data.
Grades 9-12: Making Cents
This video series teaches teens and pre-teens how to manage their money and foster an entrepreneurial spirit.
Every word in turquoise is a link!
An exert from an article from healthychildren.org
If your children need to stay at home due to the outbreak, try to keep their days as routine and scheduled as possible. Here are a few tips that can help:
These tips can help:
Stay informed: Families are encouraged to stay up to date about this situation as we learn more about how to prevent this virus from spreading in homes and in communities.
This is an article from American Psychological Association:
TipsNew reports about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, becoming more widespread are making some people anxious. Here are some tips to help you manage your anxiety, put news reports in perspective and maintain a positive outlook.
Click on box to read articles
The Guidance Center is facilitating a series of class to help parents with divorce and custody. When a relationship is ending, it is important to get help to help yourself and your children.
Please remember this is a group/ education session run by the Guidance Center, please be aware that Allen Park Public Schools does not examine, determine, warrant or endorse the information on this group/sessions. Use of this referral is voluntary and will not result in any liability against Allen Park Public Schools
Kids are kids, they throw themselves on the ground, kicking and screaming. This is just part of being a kid, a temper tantrum.
But what if it is not, what if it is a child's way to communicate their frustrations, their hurt, their worries.
We are hearing more and more about kids who can not manage frustrations or disappointments. And now, with the Stay at Home order, they are missing out on so many natural supports and regulation.
Kids have temper tantrums, we handle it right?
Parents have tried time out, spanking, yelling, etc. What if it keeps happening, what if it is not just a temper tantrum?
Jessica FLowers is a parenting coach with Conscious Discipline. She says:
"So, here are my three “ah ha” moments inspired by that missing purple crayon. I hope my reflections help you in your journey of internalizing the powers and skills. You’ll see that they are related.
#1: WE CAN’T SHIELD CHILDREN FROM UPSET AND DISAPPOINTMENT.
#2: BREATHE AND SET YOUR INTENTION BEFORE YOU START TALKING.
#3: BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITIES."
Take a break, from your stress, from the stressful moment. Take a deep breath. We are all feeling upset, stressed, calm, happy, at peace, frustrated and annoyed. It is ok, these are hard times.
When you stop and take a deep breath, then maybe you can help your child stop and let go.
Try the Virtual Calming Place (Tab to the left). Distract yourself for 5 minutes, Interrupt the stress thoughts and Manage the moment.
Kids are feeling it too.
Your social workers are the link from your student, to the classroom, to the school, to you and to the community.