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How To Be a BIPOC Ally + Support Local Black Businesses

Identifying yourself as “not racist” isn’t enough anymore. It is time to change the narrative to be anti-racist, i.e., being informed, anti-racist citizens. If you don’t know where to start, but have an inkling it’s time to do something more to be a BIPOC ally, here are some resources to check out today.

Petition. Donate. Educate. Read. Follow. Listen. Support.

Petition.

Sign the petition for justice for George Floyd. With over 12 million signatures, this is the biggest U.S. petition of all time. Be a part of history.

Change.org

Act & Donate Today!

  • Call District Attorney Michael Freeman at (612) 324-4499 and demand all four officers be charged and convicted.
  • Contact your Congresspeople and ask them to support Reps. Ilhan Omar’s, D-Minn., and Ayanna Presley’s, D-Mass., resolution condemning police brutality.

Below are more funds, non-profits, and committees to support through monetary donations and actions you can take from home.

Awareness & Education.

Several resources on understanding how to be a BIPOC ally, how to communicate with your children on the topic of race, and much more.

Books.

A plethora of books to further increase knowledge and empathy.

Follow.

Social media is rife with activists, thought leaders, influencers, and more who all are working hard to change how black people are represented in society.

Listen.

A great list of podcasts to learn from!

Support Local Black Businesses.

Finally, it starts in our local community. Support black-owned businesses right here in Collin County.

6 Day Trips to Berry Picking Farms near Collin County

It’s berry picking, outdoor eating, sun-shining-bright season in the state of Texas; the perfect time of year for day trips! This is one of my favorite times of year because the produce is sweet, perfectly ripe, and so delicious. Local berry picking farms are also in need of your support.

While putting this list together, I came across many berry picking farms that have shut their doors and it’s such a loss for our community. I’ve made a list with six day trips to various berry picking farms near Collin County to get you and your family outdoors for some food and fun!

Handful of Blueberries During the Summer Time in Texas
Handful of Blueberries During Summer Time in Texas
  1. Wildberry Farm – Sadler, TX
    For summer, they are growing blueberries, blackberries, and a variety of vegetables. The cafe is currently closed, but there are some play areas open for the kids. Be sure to check their website for crop availability and what days they are open as they tend to vary.
  2. Blase Family Farm – Rockwall, TX
    They have blueberries available to pick for 4-6 weeks starting at the end of May. At this time, they are offering picking by reservation only, and open reservations one day at a time. Their website will have the sign up link or you can visit their Facebook or Instagram.
  3. Luscombe Farm – Anna, TX
    Open the second and fourth Sundays of the month from 11am-3pm, through September 27. Their market offers vegetables, honey, baked goods, handmade artisan soaps, elderberry and lavender products, tamales, hand pies, salsa and chips (plus gluten-free products), jams and jellies, pork, beef, eggs, and more. Check their Facebook for updates or sign up for email alerts via their website.
  4. Echo Springs Blueberry Farm – Brownsboro, TX
    Open daily, 7am-4pm, from now until the end of July!They have 75 acres of blueberries and 12 acres of blackberries.  No reservations needed.
  5. Ham Orchard – Terrell, TX
    Open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm, including their country store. BBQ is available for purchase, along with peaches, ice cream, jams, baked goods, and more. Currently, they are limiting occupancy to 50 people inside the store at a time, and masks are required. The BBQ is available for take out only; no seating is available at this time. Peaches are for sale outside under the pavilion. Their season ends in mid-August.
  6. Blueberry Hill Farms – Edom, TX
    Open every day from 7am-5pm, even on holidays. They have a “ready to pick” scale on their website for their blackberries and blueberries. Their country store and bakery are open, but curbside ordering is available, too. Keep in mind that berry picking season ends July 31.

I hope that you are able to take a day trip with your family during this summer season and enjoy some local berry picking farms! A drive in the country with some fresh air and yummy food usually brightens our mood. If you want to go outdoors, but need to stay close to home, check out this post from a fellow CCM writer on fun summer must-have toys for the kids!

5 Ways to Celebrate National Donut Day with Kids

Ahhhh, the list of “National [Insert Thing Here] Day!” I honestly think National Donut Day tops the list. What’s more universal and loved by all than donuts? Puppies, maybe, but we can’t eat them. National Donut Day is this Friday, June 5. Did you know it actually began as a really sweet cause for WWI soldiers? The Salvation Army would provide donuts and coffee to the men serving in WWI. Beyond celebrating National Donut Day by filling our bellies full of circular goodness, here are a few other ways you can have fun with this delicious breakfast staple.

Celebrate National Donut Day with Kids

1) Give back. This will always top my list of things to do. You can follow the Salvation Army’s lead and bring donuts to veterans and active duty officials. Find a local VA or drop into your closest fire or police station. Find the nearest VA here.

2) Read about donuts! Here are a few donut-themed books:

3) Get creative and do some donut crafts. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make a big letter D and let your kids decorate it (edible and non-edible decorations).
  • Use play-doh and a donut pan to make pretend donuts.
  • Make use of those donut pans again and make donut crayons. Take all the paper off of those millions of little crayon pieces you have sitting around, then sort them by color (or mix and match for a rainbow effect). Bake them at 350-degrees for about 15 minutes to melt the crayons down. They will continue to melt as they cool on the counter for about 15 minutes. Throw them into the freezer for five minutes, then pull them out and flip the tin over: voila, you have donut crayons!

4) Check out the big-name Collin County donut shops around town for some mind-blowing donut options.

  • Hurts in Frisco takes donuts to an entirely new level; be prepared to stand in awe for at least five minutes before you can choose.
  • The Donut Kitchen in McKinney uses a cake-based donut to make any dessert a donut delight.
  • Good old Dunkin’ Donuts has locations all over Collin County; I personally love their donut holes!
  • Shipley’s Donuts has a few locations throughout Collin County and has been in the donut business since 1936!
  • Krispy Kreme are few and far between around Collin County, but they are always a fun time. Make sure to take your kids inside to see how the donuts are made; you even get a hat!
  • WOW Donuts in Plano makes for an amazing donut (and coffee) experience; be prepared!
Fun times at Krispy Kreme

5) Do some donut-related food activities. Here are a few ideas:

  • Healthy apple slice donuts (core an apple and slice it crosswise. Use cream cheese, peanut butter, Nutella or some sticky substance to layer the slices. Then let your kids decorate with sprinkles, raisins, nuts, candy, you name it).
  • Make donut jewelry with a circular cereal (Cheerios, Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, etc.)
  • Serve your kids a donut sandwich for lunch. Make any sandwich they’d usually eat (turkey & cheese, PBJ, tuna, etc.) into a donut using a donut-shaped cookie cutter/sandwich cutter, add a few sprinkles on top, and call it a day!

As you can see, there is no shortage of fun to be had on National Donut Day; they should really make it a week-long event! Are you planning on celebrating National Donut Day with kids?

How to Talk to your Kids about Racism, Race & Activism

Talking to Your Kids about Racism

These words carry such a weight. They can’t be ignored. The outcomes of allowing racial injustice to build unresolved is being played out currently on the front pages of our newspapers and on our television screens. POC (People of Color) are being oppressed daily. You would think we were still living in the 1940s, in the era of the Civil Rights Movement. But no, this is 2020…in America, the land of the free, where people are still not free.

The topic of race will undoubtedly be brought up in our children’s conversations with their peers, on social media, or their own natural curiosity as they interact with others. How they receive and internalize this topic is heavily dependent on us as their parents. It is our job to make sure they are navigating this terrain in a way that supports oppressed communities of color. We are their compass; not just for morality issues, but for injustice issues as well.

Where To Start

Many times there is a reluctance to start the conversation around race, racism, and activism because we feel the topic is too painful and too heavy for our kids to understand. But guess what? Our children’s capacity to handle painful and heavy topics can be broadened by our helping them navigate this terrain with intention, thoughtfulness, empathy, and in an age-appropriate manner.

Silence can be deafening and detrimental. When we SAY and DO nothing when our friends, family members, and community members of color are being treated unfairly, we send a clear and LOUD message to our children that they TOO should do nothing. And we subconsciously give them permission to seek understanding of these issues elsewhere. They then become at risk to taking on a belief system about people of color that is inaccurate and grossly misleading.

Educate yourself. That old saying about how reading is fundamental still applies in 2020. Sometimes the biggest obstacle comes from a LACK of knowledge. I’ve created a list of books that offer a jumping off point to begin to start the conversation of race, racism, and activism with your children AND books for parents, too.

Preschool to Age 3

A Is For Activist by Innosanto Nagara

The Case for Loving: The Fight For Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko

Ages 4 to 7

The Skin I’m In: A First Look At Racism by Pat Thomas

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

Ages 8- 13

The Wedding Portrait: The Story Of A Photograph and Why We Sometimes Break The Rule by Innosanto Nagara

A Kids Book About Racism by Jelani Memory

A Child’s Introduction To African American History by Jabari Asim

Ages 14 and up

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Helping Teens Stop Violence, Build Community, And Stand For Justice by Allan Creighton and Paul Kivel

Parents

So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

How To Be An Anti- Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Yellow: Race In America Beyond Black and White by Frank Hu

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us And What We Can Do by Claudia Steele

Other Ways To Support The POC Community

These books should be available on Amazon, your local bookstore, or your local libraries. If you are unable to find these books at any of those locations, request that the books be ordered and put into regular rotation.

Make a phone call or send an email to the principal of your child’s school and the PTA President and request that a Diversity and Inclusion Committee be established. Offer your time to help start the committee and recruit other parents to assist you. National PTA and Texas PTA have programs designed to help support local PTA’s in starting diversity and inclusion programs.

Put your time on social media to good use. There are many racial justice activists using their platforms on social media to help educate on how to support oppressed POC (People of Color). Two Instagram accounts to follow: @ckyourprivilege and @blackcoffeewithwhitefriends.

Check on your POC friends and family members. They are not ok. Reach out and ask how you can show your support. Be quick to listen and slow to defend. Systemic racism wasn’t built in a day, so the dismantling of it is going to take time and ALL hands on deck.

The true question isn’t IF we should start a conversation with our children about race, racism, and activism, but WHEN…and that time is NOW.

Listen, learn, self-reflect, ask questions, support, act, and REPEAT.

A Collin County Mom’s Guide to the Month of June

It’s June! Y’all ready for this? I’m already wondering how often I’ll hear “I’m borrrrred” now that school is out. My favorite response to that is from Mad Men when Betty Draper tells her kids, “Only boring people are bored.” I can’t quite bring myself to say that to my children…yet. If you want to stop summer boredom in its tracks, check out our Collin County June events guide below; we’ve got the deets on fun kids activities all around the area that you can participate in from home or in public — whichever you feel safest doing. Stay cool and have a great summer! (*me signing your yearbook*)

As always, don’t forget to PIN IT for later OR subscribe to our Newsletter and have our Collin County event guides sent straight to your inbox. Enjoy! 

Reminder: Because things are changing so quickly as Texas reopens, please be sure to contact all businesses in advance for cancelations or changes to events. In addition, because many activities are virtual, you’ll find us repeating several events that are continuing on from last month’s guide.

Reopenings: As of June 1st, there are quite a few local attractions that are scheduled to reopen. Of course, each one comes with their own very specific rules you MUST follow in regards to how to purchase tickets, how many people can be in your party, etc. Be sure to check with each business or organization BEFORE you attend to make sure you’re not left feeling disappointed when you aren’t allowed in.

  • Dallas Arboretum: Official reopen date is June 1st. You’ll find their new visitor and member policies here.
  • Dallas Zoo: Official reopen date is May 29th. You’ll find their new entrance policies here.
  • Epic Waters Indoor Water Park: Officially reopening May 29th. Find all the details here because you’ll definitely need tickets in advance!
  • Heard Natural Science Museum: Open regular hours of operation.
  • Gaylord Texan Hotel: Reopening June 8th with full access to Paradise Springs. They’re now accepting reservations.
  • Great Wolf Lodge: Plans to reopen June 15th.
  • SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium: Now operating at 25% capacity. Find their new policies here.

Now through September :: Fun mail alert! The Big Tex Little Lone Stars Club is a free subscription services for kids 12 and under. It includes fun, fair-related activities delivered every month. See the link for more details and to sign up.

June 10 :: New Moms, you’ll want to make sure and attend the Virtual Prego Expo. This is a three day event that will feature some of the best brands on the market. You’ll hear from experts in maternity, baby, and health services LIVE in a private Facebook group + still be eligible for giveaways and swag. Tickets range from $5-$75.

June 12-14 :: Third Monday Trade Days are back open in McKinney. While not all 450 vendors have returned, those that have will be taking precautions to help you shop with your family. All shoppers & vendors must maintain social distancing and they encourage everyone to wear a mask, but if you need a little fresh air, this could be the place to go!

June 20 :: Parents, if you have access to a sitter right now, be sure to support Historic Downtown McKinney as they relaunch their Craft Beer Walk. Special precautions are being made to ensure you’re protected as much as possible; limited tickets, arrival time registration, and separate starting locations.

June 21 :: The Plano Symphony Orchestra is bringing music back to the community with a family concert at the McKinney Performing Arts Center on Sunday, June 21 from 3-4pm. Families will enjoy movie-themed music from films like Moana, Star Wars, and Frozen. *There will be no pre-concert activities and seating will be limited to 50% occupancy. Tickets are required in advance.

:: Virtual Activities ::

June 3, 10, 17, 24 :: Allen Public Library is hosting virtual family shows every Wednesday at 2:30pm with fun acts like James Wand’s Secret Magic Show and Critterman. Be sure to check the requirements of each show as some are free to the public on their Facebook page while others require pre-registration for the Zoom link.

June 4, 11, 18, 25 :: Sci-Tech Discovery Center is still closed to the public, but each week in June, they’re hosting Preschool Science Time Webinars. Join them in celebrating Eric Carle through singing, dancing, activities, and a storytime. Participation is FREE, but you must register to reserve a spot.

While the Scarborough Renaissance Fair has been canceled for the 2020 season, Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is helping fill in the gap with some free education printables! You can find free activity pages, games, and crowns to color on their Pinterest page for ages PreK-Middle School.

Need a dance break? KIDZ BOP is live-streaming its Daily Dance Break videos on Facebook every day at 2PM CST.

:: Virtual Storytimes ::

All month, Monday-Friday :: The Plano Public Library will continue to host virtual storytimes at 11:00am on Facebook. These are free to the public and geared towards preschool-age children.

All month, Monday-Friday :: One of our favorite authors, James Dean (Pete the Cat), hosts a virtual art lesson and storytime LIVE on Instagram each weekday at 12pm CT/ 1 ET. Watch him draw some of your favorite Pete moments and hear a book live.

June 4 :: For the last 9 weeks, Dolly Parton, has been releasing a bedtime story on YouTube in a series called “Goodnight with Dolly.” While the final new episode airs Thursday, June 4th, you can go back and watch all 10 storytimes on her YouTube Channel.

From 1990-1994, Mrs. Barbara Bush hosted Mrs. Bush’s Story Time for families. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is re-releasing these storytimes in podcast format through June 30, 2020! Each reading features special guests like Winnie the Pooh, Elmo, and even Oprah, and can be found through their website here or wherever you listen to podcasts.

And of course, we listed some great podcasts for kids in our May Guide that would still be a great resource this month. Be sure to check it out!

Anything else you’ve enjoyed lately? Let us know!

Your Spouse Can’t Fix Your Mental Illness

My husband is my rock. He knows me better than anyone. He’s seen me at my worst and he still loves me. He knows how I think and how to make me feel better. He’s so good at it, in fact, that I started relying on him too much to do this during my lowest moments of depression and anxiety.

I am grateful that I could confide in my husband when I started experiencing depression. I knew he wouldn’t judge me. Everyone deserves a person like that in their lives. It is so helpful to have a place to talk things out where you feel completely safe. His encouragement to talk to my doctor is exactly what I needed to take that step to reach out for help.

husband and wife with depression
My husband has always been my biggest supporter

But I also found myself asking him more and more often to tell me everything was going to be okay. To reassure me. To tell me he loved me. To have him validate how hard this was for me. I would always feel better after talking to him, so I leaned heavily on him during this time.

It got to the point where I would call or text him when I was having intrusive and bad thoughts and when he couldn’t answer, I completely fell apart. I realized I had no coping skills. Without him, I didn’t know what to do. I felt completely lost. This was putting a lot of stress on our relationship. I knew he loved me, and I loved him, but things were tough.

Eventually I started going to therapy. It was there I learned that my husband could not be everything I was asking him to be. Sure, he could give me lots of support, but the frequency and intensity of everything I was asking from him was not sustainable.

She also pointed out to me that my husband was human, too. He wasn’t an unbiased third party like a doctor, therapist, or other professional. He was trying to compensate for all the weight I asked him to carry by not sharing his own feelings. He felt too guilty to ask anything from me. We weren’t truly connecting back and forth like partners should. Each person needs to be seen and heard.

This was hard on him. He hated seeing me suffer. He wanted me to be happy, but he didn’t know how he could really help me get there. Because, well, he couldn’t help me get there. Not in the long term.

I needed professional help to navigate this illness, just like you need professional help to navigate any other illness.

The best thing I ever did for us and our marriage was to start and continue going to therapy. Therapy gives me tools and resources so I can help myself when I’m in a rough spot.

I still turn to my husband for advice, encouragement, and support, but I recognize now that he cannot do it all. No one can. He still knows everything that I’m going through, but I give him space for his feelings, too. What he thinks and feels matters, and he deserves a partner that can receive that.

husband and wife traveling
We’ve been able to truly enjoy each other a lot more once I got more professional support.

Don’t feel guilty if you have made the same mistakes I did. We are all learning and trying to figure out life with all its twists and turns. What’s important is that you continue striving to get to a place where you can give and receive in a healthy relationship.

Marriage is a two-way street. And if both people put in the effort, you can come out on the other side even stronger than before.

 

Mom Personality Traits by Zodiac Sign

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Astrology is so captivating. Some people think it is nonsense, others can’t start their day without reading their horoscope. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you probably have some interest in the zodiac. Find your sign below and see if it matches up with the mom you are! Our moon signs also have a strong presence within our personality.

“Andrea” Aries {March 21 – April 19}

Andrea is soccer mom extraordinaire. She doesn’t have time for the Chick-fil-A drive through line and opts for mobile order. She is results driven and breeds winners. She’s never boring and is one of the first to volunteer for a task because she knows she can get it done better than anyone else. Andrea is a great friend but don’t expect her to be around whenever you need her; she’s busy WINNING. 

“Taylor” Taurus {April 20 – May 20}

Taylor is everyone’s mom. She prides herself in taking care of others. Her kid’s friends know who to call when they need an adult to talk to outside of their own parents. Weakness is not in her vocabulary. When Taylor gets knocked down, she gets back up, and then asks to speak to the manager. She is also the poster child of “stubborn.” If you tell Taylor that something can’t be done, she will go to great lengths to prove you wrong, especially when it comes to taking care of her family. 

“Gianna” Gemini {May 21 – June 20}

Gianna is the mom you don’t want to talk to until she’s had her morning coffee. She’s sweet as pie, but make sure you get her at the right moment. She doesn’t carry a day-planner because she thinks strict schedules make life feel stiff. She tends to overreact to situations big and small and in the same breath she uses to rock the baby to sleep she’s yelling at her big kid to flush the toilet. Gianna gets bored easily and will do anything from trying new coffee flavors to painting her living room navy blue to combat staleness. 

“Carrie” Cancer {June 21 – July 22}

Carrie was born to be a mom. She kisses every boo-boo and scares away every monster in the most loving way possible. She drinks iced coffee because she knows mornings with her precious children are more important than racing the clock to consume a hot beverage. She prides herself in her mama bear instincts and wears the “mama bear” shirt to show it. She’s even the mom of mom friends. Call Carrie. She knows exactly what to say to make you feel better about anything. 

“Lily” Leo {July 23 – August 22}

Lily has a stage presence. She’s on TikTok and posts hilarious videos of her toddler and her dancing their way through the aisles in Target. She’ll roll up to school pickup with the windows down, rapping her way through the Hamilton soundtrack. Lily keeps candy in her purse at all times because she never knows when herself or her littles will need a sugary pick-me-up. Lily is the all-around fun mom and she might even be the mom who lets her teens have a glass of champagne on holidays. YOLO. 

“Vanessa” Virgo {August 23 – September 22}

Vanessa doesn’t have time for funny business. She likes her coffee black and she has the same 4-oz. pour of Apothic red blend wine every night. She will never rub you the wrong way, but also doesn’t waste time beating around the bush. Schedules are everything and she syncs her entire family’s Google calendars to ensure successful days. There is no excuse for a missed assignment or appointment. She’s never late and expects the same from you. She’s a great leader in the home, in her mom tribe, and at work. 

“Lauren” Libra {September 23 – October 22}

Lauren is the mom every adult wishes they had growing up AND wishes they could be now. There isn’t a lot that ruffles her feathers. She never asks for the manager and keeps an open line of communication among her children that keeps life at home on a fairly even keel. She is deeply appreciative of her life and when things get tough she acknowledges that they could always be worse. Lauren loves her mom nights out, mostly because the time away reminds her how much she loves her family. 

“Samantha” Scorpio {October 23 – November 21}

Samantha has a fire inside of her. She always thought she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but when finally given the chance, she realized how passionate she was about her work. The world can be a scary place, especially when you’re looking at it through the eyes of your young children; but Samantha is an optimist. She chooses to see life through the highly coveted, rose-colored glasses. Don’t mistake her rosy glasses for being naive, however. Samantha uses a combination of intelligence, quick wit, and bravery to get to the top of just about any ladder, be it social or professional, and her children take note of her strong behavior every step of the way. 

“Sarah” Sagittarius {November 22 – December 21}

Sarah has an energy about her that is infectious to her kids. She doesn’t drink coffee but will sip on the occasional Coke or tea in the morning hours. She loves to write notes to her kids and leave them in their school lunch box to discover the next day. Sarah is room mom and a member of the PTA. She is always showing up to work or play dates with treats for everyone. Having a tough day with YOUR toddler? Go find yourself a Sarah. She’s got the jokes and the snacks. 

“Chloe” Capricorn {December 22 – January 19}

Chloe thrives on routine almost more than her one year old does. She wakes up before the sun rises every day to ensure she meets all of her personal goals. She doesn’t sleep in on the weekend and no one gets screen time until homework and learning activities are complete. Chloe doesn’t stay up late to binge her favorite shows or eat the all the snacks because she knows the importance of a good night’s sleep. Chloe’s kids don’t necessarily peg her as the fun mom, but boy, do they respect her!

“Abbey” Aquarius {January 20 – February 18}

Abbey likes things her way. She even has a hard time teaching her children to be self sufficient because it drives her nuts when they do things differently than she does. Abbey can talk politics and religion without hurting anyone’s feelings. She is inventive and truly interested in what others have to say. She is the first to tell her children that they can be anyone they want to be and uses her individualistic self as the driving example. No time to go to the grocery store? No problem! Abbey is so creative she can make a meal out of just about anything in the kitchen. 

“Piper” Pisces {February 19 – March 20}

Piper loves the arts. She was a theater geek growing up and secretly hopes one of her kids gets the vocal ability she always longed for. Piper is a bleeding heart and absorbs the energy of the room wherever she goes. Her empathetic nature and compassion for others make her a stellar role model. She is so highly in tune with her feelings, her energy can sometimes manifest in the form of anxiety, a trait she hopes does not trickle down to her children. Piper is an introvert but she always has fun at mom’s night out. The hard part is getting her there because she’d rather curl up with a beverage and a book in the comfort of her own home. 

Is your sign accurate? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Support a Friend Whose Child Has Been Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose is to highlight the importance of addressing mental health in a more positive and holistic way. It is also gives an opportunity to reduce the negative stigma around those who are living with a mental disorder. It is not a one-size-fits-all condition. The more positive awareness, the better outcome. Mental health disorders affect not just the person who has been diagnosed but those closest to them.

4 Ways To Support

A friend whose child has been diagnosed with a mental disorder will undoubtedly be dealing with a mixture of emotions. Depending on the mental disorder, there will major adjustments for them as they navigate their child through medical appointments, adjusting to drug protocols and varying therapies, advocacy at school, and more. There are many opportunities to support your friend in a way that will truly be helpful and appreciated. Here are four important ways to support a friend whose child has been diagnosed with a mental disorder:

1. Terms To Avoid.

Words truly have power. A lot of the negative stigma centered around mental health stems from inappropriate words and terms that have been used over the years. Here are a few to avoid: “suffers from”, “victim of”, “mentally ill person”, “disturbed”, “issues”, “problematic”. On the surface they may not seem harmful but they are actually words that alienate and often misrepresent. Their child is living with a mental disorder but that doesn’t mean their child’s life is over. So keep a positive outlook in thought and words.

2. Listen First.

It can be so easy to jump into “plan” mode and want to save your friend from the emotional rollercoaster they may be feeling. But the best thing you could ever do is be a listening ear. Unless you also have a child living with a mental disorder, you will have no understanding of what your friend is feeling or thinking. So instead of trying to guess and figure out how to make things comfortable for all, it is best to just listen and take cues from your friend.

3. Maintain Relationship.

Your usual weekly coffee dates or weekend lunch plans with your friend could change, but your friendship shouldn’t. Connecting with her for a quick chat over the phone or even dropping over a prepared meal can be a way to help her feel appreciated and supported. Check in weekly and find out what she needs or just to let her know that you are thinking of her and are available when she is ready.

4. Advocacy Matters.

As mentioned earlier, Mental Health Awareness Month is about helping to stop the negative stigma that has been attached to mental health disorders and those who are living with it. There are many national and local organizations that put all their efforts into educating the public on mental health and advocating for those living with mental disorders. NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness is one of many great online resources that will provide practical ways for you to educate yourself and learn how to advocate for your friend and others in your local community.

WORDS ARE IMPORTANT, BUT ACTION IS IMPACTFUL! YOUR FRIEND WILL APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW.

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AROUND Collin County

6 Day Trips to Berry Picking Farms near Collin County

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It's berry picking, outdoor eating, sun-shining-bright season in the state of Texas; the perfect time of year for day trips! This is one of...