Much has already been written about last week’s heartbreaking elementary school killings in Newtown, Conn. But rather than add to the words now, at a time when it seems that space for peace and personal reflection is perhaps most appropriate, we thought we would simply share a few of the resources we’ve found online for those who are struggling.
1. The American Academy of Pediatrics has assembled on its website a series of tip sheets for parents and teachers, students and schools. These include everything from talking with your teen about violence to tips for school administrators to identify mental health risks. It also has links to a number of policy statements.
2. The National Association of School Psychologists have also compiled resources for talking with children about the shootings, and about violence in general. Its documents emphasize reassuring children that they are safe, making time to talk with children and keeping explanations developmentally appropriate.
3. Although many experts recommend that parents turn off the television and try to shield their children from the non-stop news about the shootings, it’s nearly impossible in the Internet era to create a media-free bubble. Common Sense Media has information about how to help children put news in perspective, with tips specific for various age groups. “No matter how old your kid is, threatening or upsetting news can affect them emotionally,” their website explains. See more advice here: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/explaining-news-our-kids
4. Sesame Street has a fantastic and practical pamphlet for talking to young children about emergencies. Much of the advice – from taking care of oneself to inspiring a sense of hope in children – is applicable in the aftermath of Friday’s shootings. Here is a link to the pdf: http://www.sesameworkshop.org/assets/1192/src/HereForEachOther_vEng2012Modified.pdf
We know you made out your holiday shopping list in October, including everyone from your sister-in-law to the Secret Santa gift for work.
But we’re pretty sure you’re forgetting someone. Remember the newspaper delivery person? And your child’s day care teacher? And your dog groomer? You didn’t grab a sweater for them at Target, did you?
Holiday tipping season is upon us, a potentially complicated social negotiation that can take the cheer right out of the season. It’s usually a time to show appreciation for people who give you services all year long – but exactly whom to give to and how much to give can add extra weight to the simple idea of being thoughful. How little can you give without offending? How much to can you give seeming overly generous? Who is it imperative to remember? And if your holiday resources are shrinking, who can you – gulp – take off the tipping list?
Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of etiquetteexpert.com and author of "Poised for Success," says to focus on those who make your life run more smoothly from day to day such as day care instructors, hair stylists, those who work to take care of your pet and exercise class teachers.
“These are the people that make your life easier,” Ms. Whitmore says.
She says to plan ahead of time to make sure you’re not forgetting anyone who you want to make sure to thank. Doing so can also help you ensure you’re not going beyond your budget.
“You have to pick,” Whitmore sAYS. “I make a priority list ahead of time.”
For the teachers who watch over your little ones while you’re at work, Whitmore saYS some parents may be inclined to have children make something or pick out a gift at the mall, but this may come with pitfalls. She said she wrote an article once in which she instructed parents to have kids create the gifts and got less-than-happy responses.
“Two teachers wrote me back, very upset, saying 'We have too many tchotchkes, we'd rather have cash,’” Whitmore remembered.
You can always work with the other parents in the group to write out a card and pool funds for a gift – Whitmore recommends between $50 and $75 altogether. If it’s just you doing the giving and you feel uncomfortable about handing over a wad of cash, try a gift card to a local restaurant or spa.
And if you’re going to the hairstylist on the corner to get the kids looking groomed for Christmas dinner, add a little extra to that tip, especially if you’re a regular customer there. Whitmore, the daughter of a hairdresser, says tipping 20 percent is always essential, but more is best during the holiday season.
“These people also appreciate cash,” she said. “They rely on their tips to pay their bills.”
For a pet groomer or dog walker, it’s also good to thank them for looking after your furry friend with such care. The Emily Post Institute suggests the price of a session as a tip for groomers, or a present, and the price of one week’s work, or a gift, for walkers.
For money-strapped parents, Whitmore says these are the priority people to focus on. But if you’re able, workers in your life such as the newspaper delivery person or the mail person also appreciate little extras. But be careful with postal workers: per US Postal Service rules, you can’t give workers money, and gifts have to be worth $20 or less. Something small, like cookies, is always appreciated, says Whitmore.
“I usually greet them or leave the gift in the mailbox,” she says of delivering items.
Looking to thank others in your life? If a nurse or health care professional often visits your elderly parent and you’ve formed a relationship with them, a gift is certainly a nice idea – just check with their company to make sure it’s allowed. The Emily Post Institute recommends a present from you, not cash, if it is. A small gift or cash, between $10 and $30, is good for the person who delivers your newspaper every day, says the Institute.
And if you’re a city dweller and want to thank those who handle emergencies and keep you safe in your apartment, try cash or a gift for your superintendent (the Emily Post Institute recommends between $20 and $80) and your doorman (between $15 and $80).
Overall, it’s about not going beyond your budget and honoring those who help you all year long, says Whitmore.
“The people who take care of you and your family should be at the top of your list,” she says.
Families are finalizing plans for December holiday celebrations, even as kids are scraping the very bottom of their Halloween candy buckets and last month’s Thanksgiving turkey has roosted on parents’ backsides. And this is only the beginning.
The month of December is often a blur of latke platters, Christmas cookies, and endless feasting. While many families stuff themselves until they cannot eat another bite, others struggle to put food on the table.
While the disparities of those with excess and those in need becomes more pronounced during the holidays, the problems of hunger and waste are systemic and persist throughout the year.
On average, American families throw away a quarter of the food they purchase, 50 percent more than their 1970’s counterparts. For a family of four, that can mean that $2,000 worth of food ends up in the trash every year.
According to a recent study from the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) , 40 percent of food produced in America never makes it to the table. At the same time, 47 million Americans depend on government assistance to put food on the table, according to August data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
As the NRDC report points out, agriculture and food production are resource-intensive enterprises, taking up half of all US land, accounting for 80 percent of the nation’s freshwater consumption, and representing 10 percent of the country’s entire energy budget.
Food lost at the consumer level represents an even greater waste of energy resources because it has been through all the links of the food chain from field, to processing facility, to truck, to store, to family minivan, burning through fossil fuels at every step of the way.
Families interested in reducing their waste stream can examine their shopping, cooking, and eating habits. Some families purchase more than they can eat and it spoils before cooking. Others pile too much food on their plates and scrape leftovers down the garbage disposal. Most families likely fall into both categories.
Once families start to pay attention when they waste food, they can make small changes in their habits that can lead to less waste in the trashcan and more money in the bank.
Getting kids on board, however, can take some careful planning.
With produce racks overflowing with food, and grocery aisles filled with disposable versions of pretty much all household goods, it can be difficult for kids to comprehend the value of food.
By starting a discussion about waste, parents can help to place value on food and start to provide some context for understanding hunger.
Many parents remember staying behind at their childhood dinner table until they had cleaned their plates because, “there are children starving in China that would be glad to eat that food.”
Today, parents are more likely to encourage children to listen to their bodies and avoid overeating. That’s an important message, especially in the midst of the current obesity epidemic. However, on its own, it can inadvertently promote food waste.
Parents can encourage children to start with smaller servings and assure them that if they want more they can come back for more. Some parents may find it useful to resurrect the clean plate rule, but with the message that kids should eat what they take, rather than eat everything parents serve up.
Taking the kids to hand out bowls at a soup kitchen or deliver food to a food pantry can help give the idea of hunger some context.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs.
This was good to see: What looked like a truly anti-social media company, game developer Square Enix saw irresponsibility for what it was and quickly reversed a stupid marketing decision. I’d like to take it as a sign that – in this very social media environment where users are co-producers with the providers of their media experiences – media companies and users alike will be increasingly wise to the power that users have just by the nature of social media.
My definition of an anti-social media company is one that fails to treat its users as partners in the social experiences they’re co-creating with it.
But I wonder how sustainable such a company's practices are, because of the transparency and user-driven nature of social media, and what those say about where control ultimately lies (something users haven't completely wakened up to yet) – more on that here.
Anyway, the decision Square Enix decided to reverse was to advertise its game "Hitman: Absolution" with a campaign that started with an e-mail which “literally [said] ‘Square Enix Wants You to Put a Hit on Your Friends!’,” reported Geekdad at Wired. The e-mail instructed players to go to Facebook and use an app that would help them insult and send death threats ostensibly to other players. Only one of the problems with that is that non-players and people who’d never heard of this videogame could’ve gotten those cruel messages.
Maybe some of us get the sort of dark reverse psychology that cruel in-game behavior on display outside the game pulls some people into the “fold,” but non-gamers don’t. And many younger recipients of such messages would likely be non-gamers, since the game’s about as “M” as an M-rated game could be (M for “Mature” because of the gore, violence, sexuality and substance abuse it depicts, according to the game raters at ESRB). Maybe Square Enix got that the timing, with online and offline bullying of high concern in our society, was really bad.
Maybe the company even got that a lot of people (e.g., those who hadn’t heard of the game) could get hurt, but I hope it even got that the campaign was modeling as well as enabling social aggression.
“The defense of this, if there is any,” writes GeekDad Curtis Silver, who said he’d enjoyed other games in the Hitman franchise but wasn’t going to buy this one because of the campaign, “is that gamers tag each other with dirty jokes and insults all the time, so it must be okay to send such an insult through Facebook. But what if you send it to someone who doesn’t play video games? Is it still just for laughs?”
This is great material for helping kids understand context and perspective – to think about how someone broadsided with a cruel inside “joke” might feel and what they might do to help. It’s also a good reason for gamers to talk about what they think of the in-game chat they participate in and whether – if they don’t actually enjoy it much or don’t feel it’s appropriate – they could think of something to do about that when playing games.
Talking about the abortive ad campaign is also an opportunity to learn from gamers in our lives about whether in-game chat changes from game to game or how playing different games makes them feel. And of course it’s an opportunity to talk about marketers’ tactics. For example, Mr. Silver writes that ad agencies serving game companies “sometimes dig deep in their pockets to create campaigns that transcend traditional advertising; they immerse the subject in advertising that asks you to play along.” Good to know. And great fodder for thinking out loud together about whether success can ever come from immersing people in or promoting social cruelty.
- But there’s also a lot of good society – and even safety and youth advocates – can learn from game designers. Some examples here.
- …and lots parents can learn from playing with their kids or observing their kids’ play – see: “Why kids love videogames and what parents can do about it.”
- However, as I wrote above and a while back, I believe that, due to the nature of the medium, it’s only logical that pro-social media companies will prosper more in the long term, as more and more of their co-producers wake up to their powers, and I think this is logic, not idealism. Exploitation of educated consumers is getting harder, which certainly puts greater and greater onus on education. I’d be interested in your thoughts.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Anne Collier is editor of NetFamilyNews.org, a blog, RSS feed, and e-mail newsletter that focuses on "kid-tech news for parents.”
Most parents are very good at comforting their children. They look under beds and in closets to prove no monsters are lurking. They dry tears, hug and hold on, because they know instinctively that the words they say are never as important as the acts of kindness parents perform on a daily hourly, moment-by-moment basis. That's why they became parents, because parenting equals love. And most of the time our children's fears aren't our own. So we can handle them calmly and rationally. We say, "See you in the morning light," and mean it.
But the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last Friday are unprecedented and unimaginable. Although there have been acts of violence before at schools, the magnitude of the shootings at Sandy Hook put us all in uncharted territory. And in our fast paced, Wikipedia world we want to make sense of the senseless now. Well, we can’t. But there are some things we can do. Beginning with ourselves.
1. We can act like the brave teacher at Sandy Hook, who hid all her students in a closet, telling them everything was going to be alright, even though she didn’t think it would be. She kept them calm by maintaining order, by telling them to smile, by telling them she loved them. What she did was powerful, and those children not only survived because of her, they also walked out of that closet with at least a small amount of equilibrium. And comfort.
2. We can listen to the news reports in small amounts. It’s normal and necessary to know what’s going on in our world, but not to get hooked on every sound bite, some of which are often wrong. Now more than ever we need to monitor our children’s screen time. We may even want to unplug for a few days.
3. We can talk to our children about the other acts of courage and kindness that transpired at Sandy Hook. The custodian who warned the teachers and children, the first responders who got the other children out and told them to hold on to each other and keep their eyes closed. We can help them to focus on the good that transpired that day, not the horrible.
4. We can realize that the quick fix fixes nothing. That we need to hit re-send, over and over again, in our prayers for ourselves and others. Yes prayers, even atheists can pray, because by prayer I mean thinking thoughts of love and kindness about the people of Newtown. And that’s exactly what I mean.
5. Finally, a practical suggestion: The tragedy occurred on Dec. 14. Two months later will be Valentine's Day. What if your family sent a Valentine card, to Sandy Hook Elementary School, or the town of Newtown? Just a card signed by you and your kids that says, "We love you and we’re still grieving your loss. We’re thinking of you, we’re keeping you in our prayers." The words won’t really matter. It’s the thought, the act, the love, that counts.
Yup, still a bad idea...
We know, we know, you’ve heard all the dire warnings about “screen time.” It stunts your child’s intellectual development, makes her hyper, makes her tired, and generally is a bad idea. Despite the fact that kids are interacting with screens more than ever before.
Well, here’s yet another news item to keep in mind next time you’re tempted to shut the toddler in his room with the television babysitter. (And it’s not that we don’t understand the temptation, we assure you.) A study this week published in the “American Journal of Preventive Medicine” finds that not only do children with televisions in their rooms watch more TV, which in turn tends to make them fatter, the screen time logged in a child’s bedroom seems to actually make kids heavier than television watched in, say, the family room.
In other words, if there are two children with about the same diet and level of physical activity, the one with a television in his room will have more health risks than the one who watches television in other areas of the house.
Now, study researchers can’t say exactly why this is; whether it’s the television in the bedroom or other factors. But we’re thinking the take away is pretty clear. No television for Junior behind the bedroom door.
And while we’re talking screen time...
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came out with a report this week showing that hundreds of the most popular children’s educational and gaming apps still fail to explain to parents what sorts of information is being collected about the youngsters who use them. Nearly 60 percent of the 400 apps the commission surveyed transmit information about the user – info that can include the user’s phone number or precise location – back to the developer or to an advertising network, analytics company or other third party, the FTC found. But only 20 percent disclosed their data collection practices.
Somewhat creepy, no?
Meanwhile, 58 percent of the apps contained advertising. (Only 15 percent disclosed that prior to download.) Children’s advocates say reforms are needed.
She was blow drying her hair?
Because it’s Friday, I am indulging in a little celeb mommy news here. This past week we got some of the first reports from new mom Megan Fox about what it’s like to become a parent. (Review: the 'Transformers' actress gave birth to her first child, Noah, with husband Brian Austin Green, in September.)
A lot of it is the normal stuff: It’s hard to describe how much love you can have for a new little munchkin. It’s hard to describe how completely, totally exhausted you are.
And it’s hard to try to blow dry your hair when you are in the midst of excruciating labor pains.
That’s right, the one-time Maxim Sexiest Woman Alive says that she wanted to look her best when she went to the hospital.
"I had wet hair, so I was trying to blow dry my hair before I went to the hospital," she told US Magazine. "I didn't want to go to the hospital with wet hair!"
I guess I’ll say I’m impressed. Or something. (I don’t blow dry my hair on a good day.)
Happy Friday, everyone.
The First Mom Michele Obama gets irritated when the president plays too much Scrabble on his iPad – and it annoys her when he wins; she also watches daughter Malia like a hawk now that she has her first cellphone.
When I lived in South Africa in the late 2000s, I heard a lot of worries about the growing collection of health problems people were noticing among children, who, as a group, were becoming increasingly overweight.
They had a name for this phenomenon. It was called “The American Disease.”
I couldn’t help thinking about that today as I read about another, new, American public health concern: Death, literally, by television.
Although the number of children killed by unintentional injury – the No. 1 cause of death for American kids ages 1 to 19 – fell by nearly 30 percent over the past decade, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a record number of American kids in 2011 were killed by falling televisions.
In a report released this week, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said that 29 children in the US were killed by falling televisions in 2011, while 12 more were killed by tipping furniture and other appliances.
Now, that might still seem low, compared with the 436 children aged 1 to 4 who were killed by drowning, or the nearly 1,200 children aged 1 to 14 who died in traffic accidents (these are 2010 numbers from the CDC). But it's a big jump from 2000, when 7 children were killed by falling TVs. And when you look at injuries overall, the numbers get more intense: Overall, some 43,200 people, on average, are injured each year by televisions, furniture, and other appliances; children experienced the most injuries (13,800) with televisions.
Most of those kids are between the ages of 1 and 4. And one of the most common explanations for the tip-overs is “climbing.”
But it’s not that toddlers have suddenly become more interested in climbing, public health officials said. It’s that we have more televisions. And, in particular, flat screen televisions.
According to the 2010 Gadget Census from Retrovo, a consumer electronic review website, there are more televisions in America these days than people, with 1.16 televisions per capita. More than 70 percent of US households have a flat screen model, which tips far more easily than the big, boxy versions of years past.
Many of these flat screen televisions are on when nobody is actively watching. They are also in rooms that no adult is monitoring – including children’s bedrooms. (Studies have found that 70 percent of kids between 8 and 18 have a television in their own room.)
So the solution, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says, is for adults to make sure heavy furniture items and televisions are well anchored and bracketed to walls. Keep them from falling, and you automatically reduce the injury risk.
Which seems sensible. (I have already sent my panicked e-mail to Husband about our need to bracket various household items.)
But it’s kind of hard not to wonder about the larger issue, too. I mean, it seems that we should take a hard look at this new American hazard. Our stuff is harming us. Literally.
I wonder what my former neighbors would think about this one.
The Internet has all but nailed shut the era of the closed adoption, says a new report from the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, “Untangling the Web: The Internet’s Transformative Impact on Adoption.” With social media sites such as Facebook – not to mention all varieties of online databases and archives – interaction between an adopted child and his or her birth parents can come more quickly, privately, and unexpectedly than ever before.
Meanwhile, the report says, unregulated websites are increasingly competing with traditional adoption practitioners, a trend that has created a growing “commodification” of adoption and “a shift away from the perspective that its primary purpose is to find families for children.”
And at the same time, tens of millions of people across the globe are tapping into the Internet to find support for any number of adoption-related concerns or interests. These can range from grappling with the decision of whether to put a child up for adoption in the first place to struggling to raise a child with special needs to figuring out the best way to host Christmas brunch for a kid’s parents, her biological parents, and her siblings who are being raised by someone else all together.
Overall, the Internet’s impact on adoption has been massive. It has also, this report says, been essentially unstudied – and unregulated.
I called up Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, to ask him more about all of this, and about why his organization decided to take such a broad look at the big picture of the Internet and adoption.
The basic answer, he said, was that nobody else had done it.
Although the Internet was clearly impacting nearly every facet of adoption, and the millions of people across the world whose lives are touched by the practice, there are few if any macro studies, he explained. There haven’t been policy recommendations, white papers, legal adjustments, educational programs – any of those responses that you might expect from a field in transition.
“We haven’t begun to wrap our arms around what the Internet means in this realm,” he told me. “Sure, everybody in every field understands that the Internet is having a transformative impact. We know that. That’s not the shocker. But in many other fields there is research – people are discussing what the rules should be, whether [the field is] pornography or taxes or book sales. That isn’t happening [with adoption]. And this affects tens of millions of people – deeply vulnerable people – in their deeply personal lives.” [Editor's note: Mr. Pertman's original quote was revised, at his request, to clarify that "many," not all, are deeply vulnerable people.]
So this report is intentionally broad, Mr. Pertman said. It has some general recommendation for policy makers and those working in the adoption field (it suggests convening to explore these Internet-prompted issues further and developing new guidelines and educational standards) but it primarily set out to show the scope of the changes.
“We have to see what the elephant looks like,” he says.
The next step, he says, will be digging deeper into particular facets of the Internet-adoption realm.
Take the issue of search and reunion.
The trend over the past few decades has been toward open adoptions, those arrangements where there is some level of supervised contact between children and their biological parents. (A recent survey by the Adoption Institute found that through 100 infant adoption programs in the US, only 5 percent of the adoptions were completely closed.) But the Internet has basically taken control away from adoptive parents, child welfare agencies or any other parties who want to regulate these interactions.
Within a few clicks a web-savvy child can find a birth parent. Or, more scarily, an abusive biological parent can find their child.
“Parents need to be guided to discuss how to manage electronic communication long before their children are old enough to reach out or become found,” the report says.
Adoptive parents should be prepared for this sort of contact, as well.
“The list of positive, negative and complicated changes occurring in the world of adoption as a result of the Internet goes on and on, with many already in place and others still evolving,” the report says. “The common denominator among them is that they are not best practices derived from lessons learned from research and experience; rather, overwhelmingly, they are transformations that are happening simply because new technology enables them to happen.”
Two decades after the show’s producers created and then scrapped a segment about Snuffy’s parents splitting up, we learned on the Sesame Street website yesterday that Abby Cadabby, that bubbly pink fairy-in-training, has not one but two houses – one where she lives with her mommy, and one where she stays with her daddy.
She explains the situation to a bewildered Elmo and Rosalita. Abby’s friend Birdie – whose parents, we learn, are also divorced – also swoops down from a nearby fire escape to join in. (And to help start off the peppy and confident song that has the refrain: “They live in different places but they both love me.” Which, I have to admit, is pretty darn catchy. Nothing like humming that one over coffee to get some strange looks from Husband.)
Anyhow, Abby’s situation is part of the Sesame Street multimedia package, “Little Children, Big Challenges,” which was created to tackle everything from bedtime blues to bullying, from making new friends to having a parent incarcerated. This particular project is to give “much-needed resources” for divorcing families with young children, aged 2 to 8, the show says.
“Each year about 1.5 million children confront the divorce of their parents, a transition that can be challenging for the entire family, especially young children,” said a press release put out by the Sesame Street Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the show. “While 40 percent of families experiencing this, there are few resources to show children they are not the only ones with big questions and feelings about divorce.”
Which kind of makes one wonder – has Sesame Street avoided this topic for 40 years? "R" is for ... Really? After all, this is the kids show that has tackled everything from race, adoption, and pregnancy to death and natural disasters.
(After Hurricane Sandy, producers re-edited a series from the early 2000s that showed Big Bird coping with a storm that had destroyed his nest and damaged his neighborhood.)
Well, as it turns out, the show’s producers did try to put together a segment on divorce in 1992. It just didn’t work.
In an article earlier this week, Time magazine and Tumblr Storyboard tell how, after a US Census report showed that nearly 40 percent of the country’s children would soon live in divorced homes, Sesame Street’s best writers, researchers and producers got together to design a script where Snuffy – aka Mr. Snuffleupagus – confides to Big Bird that his dad is moving out of his family’s cave.
The creators took the normal Sesame Street approach: Gordon explained why divorce happens, everyone assures Snuffy (and viewers) that his parents still love him very much, the characters talk and sing about how Snuffy will have good homes, and so on and so on.
But when producers tested the segment on a group of preschoolers, it bombed.
The kids were in tears. They thought nobody loved Snuffy. They worried their own parents were going to get divorced.
“It was really the first time we’d produced something, put all this money into it, tested it, and it just didn’t work,” Tumblr Storyboard quoted Sesame Street researcher Susan Scheiner as saying.
And so the show avoided the concept – until this week.
(Now, maybe I'm just a kid of the '80s, a member of what has been called the divorce generation. But isn't this ... I don't know ... amazing? Even even now, Sesame Street divorce won’t come into parent's living room unexpectedly. It is only online, available for interested parents, avoidable for the rest.)
The segments are varied, from Abby and Birdie’s peppy song to tougher scenes such as when Abby cries to Gordon that she’s worried it’s her fault her parents are getting a divorce, or when she has her magic crayons draw for her friends the story of how her parents told her they were splitting.
Along with the videos, the website has tips for parents, extended family members, links to webinars and a mobile app called “Sesame Street: Divorce.”
"With the frequency of children experiencing divorce and or separation today, it is critical to help children understand that the feelings or questions they may have are typical and should be discussed with a parent or caregiver," said Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for outreach and educational practices at Sesame Workshop, in the release. “These strategies will help children cope with changes as well as support them in understanding they are not alone.”