Local Interest

By Dr. Saundra Frerichs, Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development

How can someone like me cope with something so unexpected? As I searched for this answer, I read recommendations for different groups of people: individuals living alone, families, children with special needs, empty nesters, and seniors. I found suggestions that can help all of us cope. 

Create a routine.

Consistency and structure may be calming during times of stress.  This is true whether we are creating a work and learning schedule for the whole family, or creating routines for ourselves when we are home alone.  Use routine to create reasonable expectations for yourself and others.

With time on your hands and extra helpers at home, creating a beautiful and functional rain garden in your home landscape is an ideal family project. A rain garden collects water from your roof through a downspout and holds it in a shallow depression like a bathtub, until it soaks into the ground within 48 hours. The garden is planted with native and adapted perennial plants and small shrubs that can thrive in wet soil, attract pollinators, and provide year-round color in your yard. Installing a residential rain garden is a do-it-yourself home project that all in the family can enjoy.

Field bindweed is also known as small bindweed, European bindweed, and Creeping Jenny. Its scientific name is Convolvulus arvensis L, of the family Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family).

By Jill A. Goedeken, Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development

While connecting in person may not be possible right now, maintaining positive social connections for youth is important for supporting their social and emotional well-being. These connections are critically important for all youth – those who appear to be doing okay with these uncertain times and for those who may be struggling. Certainly, everyone is experiencing the sudden disruptions in routines and being with friends.

During stressful times, the role of a caring adult is certainly important. Examples of caring adults include parents, extended family members, teachers, coaches, neighbors, and other mentors youth regularly interact with such as youth group leaders, 4-H club leaders, etc.

With virtual-learning, social distancing, and a long list of cancelled beloved pastimes, life can feel pretty far from what we once knew. Change is hard. Yet, amidst a time of uncertainty and change we are searching to find a new normal. A sense of stability, routine, and familiarity are important for youth. Parents, care-providers, and youth development professionals can help youth plan their day to reestablish routine. Having a daily routine enables youth to have some control and choice in their life which is important for their well-being.

By Dr. Michelle Krehbiel, Nebraska Extension 4-H Youth Development

“I don’t like this!”

Children or youth might say this during a heated game, when being asked to correct unwanted behavior or when plans change. Young people who were looking forward to milestones like field days, end of school year celebrations, prom, or graduation, have reason to believe that life can be sad, frustrating, and difficult. How can nurturing adults help young people cope with these emotions and equip them with the skills they need to be caring, connected, and capable adults?

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