Smile Makers for Stressed Parents

by Jun 9, 2020Self-Care and Stress0 comments

Smile makers for stressed parents have been hard to find since the coronavirus shut down. While dads and moms have been busy juggling distance learning and working from home, I’ve run across several smile makers for stressed parents. Many are geared for families caring for kids with special needs and disability, though a few aren’t. I hope all of them make you smile, chuckle, and belly laugh as you keep your family healthy and engaged during this COVID-19 summer.

  1. What Does It Mean to Take Care of Yourself? This episode from the Lazy Genius Podcast  might not make you smile, but it gives you permission to take care of yourself so you can start smiling again. My daughter, who is works from home and is mom to 2 small children, told me about The Lazy Genius. The host, Kendra Adaci, has a knack for simplifying the stuff that makes raising kids and maintaining a house tough, and I love that.
  2. Paint Her in Color. Laura Spiegel is one of Different Dream’s newest guest bloggers, and her website Paint Her in Color offers emotional support to parents of children with special medical, developmental, or behavioral health care needs. Laura spent 12 years at the world’s largest biotech company, partnering with professionals and care teams to live healthy and happy lives. In 2013 her daughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which led to the creation of her blog. Her mom story combined with her professional expertise means she has what it takes to make caregiving parents smile.
  3. Novel Spirits Book Club. This book club is the brainchild of my daughter Anne. She’s a book editor and writing coach who wanted to do something for book lovers who didn’t have enough to read when libraries shut down during the pandemic. She and the authors she works with are offering new chapters of their books at The Novel Spirits Book Club every week for FREE. Now that’s something to smile about.
  4. Key Ministry Wednesday Roundtables. Key Ministry has been offering monthly video roundtables about topics of interest to the disability community for several years. When the shut down began, they stepped that up to weekly roundtables with an emphasis on mental health concerns exacerbated by the pandemic. You can sign up to be notified of Key Ministry’s upcoming roundtables here.  And yes, the roundtables are FREE. You smiling yet?
  5. How to Trauma-Proof Your Kids. The pandemic is traumatic for many children, and there’s plenty parents can do to prevent their trauma from becoming PTSD. This Different Dream post about the coronavirus, trauma, and PTSD explains how parents can tend to their kids’ mental health. I hope it brings you and your kids increased peace of mind.
  6. Talk with Doc. The doc is my friend, Stephen Hunsley. He’s a pediatrician and founder of the non-profit SOAR, which serves the disability community. Each Friday he hosts Talk with Doc, a Zoom meeting for caregiving families. The topic is different each week and so are his guests, and the meetings are FREE. To learn more and to register for next week’s meeting to the SOAR website. 
  7. Some Good News. If you haven’t watched any of the episodes of Some Good News hosted by John Krasinski (aka: Jim from The Office and Jack Ryan in the Amazon series), you are missing out. Krasinski started his feel good YouTube video series as a way to connect with fans during shelter-in-place, and it went viral. So viral that a bidding war ensued, which was won by ViacomCBS. Whatever happens with that venture, the first 6 episodes are worth watching. So start with Some Good News, Episode 1 so the last of these smile makers for stressed parents can make you smile.

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By Jolene

Jolene Philo is both parent and daughter of loved ones with special needs and disabilities, as well as a former educator who worked with children for 25 years. She’s written several books about caregiving, special needs parenting, and childhood PTSD, including the recently released Sharing Love Abundantly in Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilties, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman. She speaks internationally about caregiving and parenting children with special needs and blogs at www.DifferentDream.comJolene and her husband live in central Iowa.


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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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