Ideas to Help Our Kids

As an author and a teacher, these past few months have had me concerned about how all of these things are affecting our children. First, the isolation. Then the fear of illness. Then the missing out of milestones. Finally, the boredom.

What do you call the disease caused by the novel coronavirus? Covid-19

Just when things started to look up, a scary wave of civil unrest broke out. Our children are hearing us, watching us and learning from us. As adults and leaders, we have to do better.

Whether or not things improve right away or further down the line, I think it is important we pay attention to the kids. They might not be obvious about it, but it does affect them and stress them out. So what can we do?

Here are some things I’ve come up with and ideas I’ve used before.

  1. When they see the negativity and feel that the world is a hopeless, dangerous place, follow the advice Mister Rogers shared: “Look for the helpers.” There will always be helpers. Have them share with you what they discover.
  2. Start a gratitude or Positivity journal. This trains our brains to look for the good and positve things in our lives. They could write down one, or two or however many items they want. It doesn’t need to be huge. Maybe it was a beautiful sunny day. Maybe they read a favorite book. Maybe they had their favorite dinner.
  3. Encourage them to talk about what they’re feeling. Sometimes all they need is an ear.
  4. Offer a variety of things to do – especially if they are still quaranteened. Is there a TV marathon they want to watch? Do they want to do a livingroom campout complete with favorite snacks? Is there a Monopoly tournament (or life, or Sorry, etc). Maybe they can help set up the new garden? The temptation might be for them to withdrawl into one thing – such as video games. Change it up a little bit. My teenager grumbled a bit with the garden help, but afterwards he told me he felt “accomplished.”
  5. Give them something creative to do. Do they like art? Many illustrators offer art tips. The illustrator of Angel Donor, Samantha Bell has a great selection here.
  6. Do something kind for someone. Does someone in the neighborhood need help with anything? Maybe they saw someone be mean or discriminate against their friend. Letting them know that being a friend to that person can go a long way.
  7. As always, if you are worried about their mental health or physical health, get in touch with their doctor right away for the best individualized advice for them.

What are some ideas you have to help our children get through these times? Do you have any reading suggestions for children that would help ease their stress?

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Updates on My Light Magazine

My Light Magazine, a Catholic children’s free e-zine for children has some updates.

First – My Light is looking for a new Art Director and possibly an assistant.
Here’s the info:

Be a Part of the My Light Team!

Art Director for My Light Magazine


The Art Director at My Light Magazine is responsible for acquiring and coordinating illustrations for poems, stories and articles. Organizational skills and follow up skills are a must.

The Art Director realizes this, as other positions at My Light Magazine, are on a volunteer basis for now.


• Recruit new illustrators

• Coordinate illustrators with manuscripts

• Follow up with illustrators who agree to illustrate a manuscript

• Send illustrations to Editor-in-Chief

• Perform other duties as needed

If interested, please contact Editor-in-Chief, Jennifer Gladen at  or  

Second: My Light recognizes the time and energy of all our volunteers should be honored and respected. That is why we are still striving to become a paying market. One way we hope to do this is to participate in the I Give program.

Supporters sign up at I and choose My Light Catholic Magazine as their cause. When they do this and shop via store links on I Give, a percentage of your purchases goes to My Light. Also – there’s a way to support us without spending one dime! All you have to do is use the ISearchIGive search engine when you are signed in to I Give and My Light will receive 1 penny – sometimes more – per search you do. Here’s an easy way to sign up and help us:  

Also – there’s a special promotion going on now offering more help for the magazine. Click here  for more details

Jen’s Writing Tips #2 – Come in With a Bang!

NO! Don’t do it!

Okay, now that I have your attention, what were you thinking when you read that line above?
No, what? Don’t do what? Why? What does that have to do with the title?

When you approach an editor with your manuscript you want it to stand out above the others. Open with a bang to grab that editor’s attention. Remember the key is to get their attention so they’ll want to read more. A great way to do this is opening with lines filled with emotion, as done above. Maybe the line you use is suspenseful. Maybe it asks a curious science question. All these should grab the editor’s attention and they will want to read more.

Once you’ve gotten that far, it’s up to you to follow through. Keep that story interesting. Make that article answer fun questions or provide amazing facts. If you make your manuscript stand out, you have a good chance of keeping the editor’s attention. And that is definitely a great start.