Healthy, strong family relationships are foundational to young people’s growth, learning, and well-being.

 

These relationships build strong social and emotional strengths that kids use throughout their lives.

 

But great family relationships don’t just happen..

 

 

Welcome to My Discovery Destination!

Discovery Family Adventures

where your family can find plenty of opportunities to

 

The Discovery Family Adventures provide ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships.

 

Our goal is to strengthen family relationships to help kids be and become their best selves

and to support parents in raising happy, successful, resilient kids in an exciting,

but sometimes turbulent and dangerous world.

***IMPORTANT UPDATE***

 

For 2022 all reporting will be done via the Discovery Hunt (Goosechase) App.

 

The Adventures will be available via the website for use by anyone that wants them, but everyone is encouraged to use the Discovery Hunt (Goosechase) App to qualify for the Family Reward Events and prizes.

 

Get links for downloading the App HERE.

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Choose from the Adventures listed below

 

(or design your own family adventure!)

 

Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?

 

 

War on Ukraine


Family Adventure

GOAL:  Help children cope with what they may be hearing about the war on Ukraine and other difficult situations

 

 

The ADVENTURE:  Have a discussion, as appropriate, about your children's current state of mind and together find what coping skills will help them. Keep in mind that in some situations this Adventure will be to NOT do the Adventure!

 

 

TIPS:

 

 

Really listen! Let your child talk. This is the very best way to learn where they are on the topic and how much (or little) needs to be addressed.

 

 

  Be aware of the sources you use. Remember that even so called 'reliable' sources have a clear bias in how they tell the story. Find sources that you trust and feel comfortable with. Help your kids learn to do the same.

 

 

Be sure to validate your children's views and thoughts, even if they disagree with you. To 'validate' does not mean to agree with, but simply means that we are acknowledging another person's emotions, thoughts, experiences, values, and beliefs. Validation isn't about agreeing, placating, “fixing” the other person, trying to get someone to change, or repeating back what the other person has said.  Following are some validating statements:

• Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me
• I’m so happy that you’re in my life
• I believe in you
• I love it when you . . .
• I believe in us.
• We are going to get through this.
• Tell me more about . . .
• Help me to better understand what you’re thinking.
• Thank you for being wonderfully you.
• It makes sense that you feel . . .
• It makes sense that you think . . .
• I’ve noticed that you . . .
• I need your help with understanding . . .
• Thank you for being someone I can trust . . .

• Thank you for trusting me with your true feelings.
• It meant a lot to me when you . . .
• What you are thinking/feeling is normal.
• I value your ability to . . .
• I believe we can figure this out together.
• I’m proud of you.
• I love you.
• Can I get your opinion on . . .?
• Your emotions make sense.
• I feel the same way. (Only say this if you really do.)

 

 

Hold your children close, and often. During difficult times like this physical touch and connection is more important than ever. Pull your children close and hold them. If your teens aren't the touchy, feely type you can still create the human connection by putting your hand on their shoulder, arm or leg or putting your arm around them. They need that human connection, even if they don't know they do.

 

 

  BE POSITIVE!  Help your children know that together you will be able to get through even tough times.

 

 

Address the topic individually with each children if needed. This is one of those situations that may not be conducive to a 'family' Adventure but would be better suited for a one-to-one conversation or outing.

 

 

 

 

World news can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty for youth. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russia there has been a lot to weigh on the hearts and minds of families around the world. Our children may be confused, anxious, or fearful, and you may be wondering what to do to ease their fears.

 

 

You need to be intentional in the way you talk to your child as the world navigates these challenges and crises. For those caught up in the violence and attacks, it must be absolutely unimaginable – but for those looking on from afar, the feelings of fear and helplessness can still be overwhelming.

This Adventure will give you a blueprint for how to reassure your children while also allowing them to ask questions and be informed so that as news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine escalates, our children's anxieties around the situation won't.

 

For children, who have less of an idea of what is going on, this can be even more terrifying. Hearing words like ‘bombing’, ‘invasion’ and ‘World War Three’ without a full understanding of what’s going on, is worrying for us all, and it doesn’t escape our little ones.

 

Children are like sponges and they’re absorbing everything. Whether on the news, someone talking to the shop checkout lady, parents chatting on the playground, or a on social media, much of what they are hearing, especially once at school, is out of your control. It’s very possible that even very young children are more aware of what war is than we realize.

 

How do we help our children cope with what is happening around them?

 

Sone parents feel like they should be giving them all of the facts and keeping them informed, but many experts feel that this approach is likely to leave children feeling overwhelmed.

 

 

 

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Suggestions on what to do and say to explain but not frighten them

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→ Talk about the distance between the UK and ongoing events. We want to avoid normalizing war, but it is something that has been happening at varying points across the globe for the whole of your child’s life and knowing this can help to reassure your child that the chance they will be directly impacted is minimal.

 

→ Kids may want to talk to you about the people that are directly impacted, but be sure to keep language age appropriate and be led by your child.

 

→ It may help kids feel they have a little more control if they can have an impact, however small. Help them get involved through service. Find an organization that accepts shoebox-type gifts or something similar. This is a good way to show your child that although this is happening far away, there are still small actions we can take to give support.

 

→ It's always a good idea to use active listening, but especially when addressing difficult topics like this it is important. Active listening involves paying full attention to your child during the whole conversation, ignoring distractions, and putting all your focus on listening to your child’s words. Listen to what they’re asking and avoid giving more information than what they are asking for. Humans have a habit of oversharing, and this is one time when that’s not helpful.

 

→ If you don’t know all the answers to their questions, don’t be afraid to say you don’t know. You may want to spend time searching for information together. If you prefer you can let them know you’ll find out and let them know later on.

 

 

 

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How to talk to kids of different age groups

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News like this can be scary to children if not handled in the right way, and it will be different for different ages. Since children are different there is no ‘one fits all’ approach, but it is important that the subject is treated with sensitivity and understanding of what children need to know, weighed against what they are hearing from other sources. Children of all ages are likely to be more worried when they think that no one is willing to talk about it. They will think that it is too scary or upsetting to talk about, which then adds to their fears.

 

Under seven

 

→ It is unlikely for this age group to properly pick up on what is going on, but if they do overhear conversations or see the news and ask questions, it is important to make sure they know they are safe and that what is happening is not in our country – perhaps showing them on a map or globe, so they can grasp the distance.

 

→ Kids of this age don’t need to be burdened with news that they are unable to understand, so if they don’t mention it, don’t bring it up. Let them be blissfully unaware.

 

→ You may want to read a book about general worries and how to deal with them. You can then apply this to their worries about the situation with Ukraine and Russia.

 

 

Tweens (Ages 8-12)

 

→ Tweens are at an impressionable age and are more aware of the world around them. They will have learned about war and conflict in history lessons at school, and so they will have preconceived ideas of what it is all about. Use resources that are geared towards the appropriate age group and explains things in an appropriate way.

 

→ Whatever source you choose to use, watch it with your child and then have a discussion about what you have watched.

 

→ Another key to talking to children between the ages of 7-12 yrs is how we question them. Keep it positive. Rather than asking why they are worried ask them questions to help them work out solutions to their worries. What are some things you have done in the past that helped you manage scary situations?

 

→ Be aware of how you discuss the Ukraine and Russia situation with other adults around your tweens or in earshot. Children are extremely susceptible to how parents respond to issues and it can have a massive impact on a child’s anxieties. In fact, studies have shown that children from as young as one to two years old will mimic parents’ behavior.

 

 

 

Teens (Over 12)

 

→ Ask them what they already know and give them lots of reassurance if they are worried.

 

→ Let them know that you are there to talk through things with them.

 

→ Help them understand that what they are seeing on social media won’t all be accurate. Help them understand the different views and biases, and find reliable sources to get their information.

 

→ Research the issues between Russia and Ukraine. Take time with your child to look at the history of wars in Europe and discuss why we have wars.

 

Most importantly, let children know that if they have any questions they can ask you!

 

 

 

 

Following are some resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network that might be helpful:

 

 

General Child Trauma Resources

 

 

Military and Veteran Family Resources

 

 

Additional Helpline Resources

 

 

 

Pre-K Adventure

Under seven

 

→ It is unlikely for this age group to properly pick up on what is going on, but if they do overhear conversations or see the news and ask questions, it is important to make sure they know they are safe and that what is happening is not in our country – perhaps showing them on a map or globe, so they can grasp the distance.

 

→ Kids of this age don’t need to be burdened with news that they are unable to understand, so if they don’t mention it, don’t bring it up. Let them be blissfully unaware.

 

→ You may want to read a book about general worries and how to deal with them. You can then apply this to their worries about the situation with Ukraine and Russia.

 

 

Community Engagement Adventure

The best way to take this Adventure to the community is to SERVE.

 

 

Strong communities tend to be safe communities. The more connected your child is to their neighborhood and community the safer they will feel overall. Help them connect by serving. Whether they choose to serve an individual (ex: drop off cookies or an uplifting note to someone) or serve the whole neighborhood (ex: cleaning up an area or writing inspirational chalk messages for everyone to enjoy), serving in the community will help your children connect with the world right outside their front door.

 

 

 

Teen Adventure

Encourage your teens to share with the rest of the family some 'coping skills'. Whether they share something they have learned at school or in a community group, do research online to find some ideas, or share what they have learned from experience, this is a great opportunity to let them experience some control over a situation that likely feels very out of control to them.

 

 

 

by Help Kids Cope:




 

NOTE: If the Adventures don't show up find them at DiscoveryFamilyAdventures.com



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My Discovery Destination! Adventures

Sponsored by My Discovery Destination! and  local businesses and organizations in your community

for the purpose of

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES and BUILDING CHARACTER.

Send an email to Sharilee@MyDiscoveryDestination.com if you would like to learn how we can bring a wide variety of FUN and educational LIVE EVENTS to your community!