What is home visiting and why does it help? Read More >>

The Santa Fe Children’s Project, the primary initiative of United Way of Santa Fe County, has developed an array of programs and services to support families with a two-generational approach. We know that the earlier we can begin supporting a family, the more effective our intervention will be. Our services begin prenatally to implement a foundation of support and education. Prenatal education focuses on healthy decision making, emotional wellbeing, and planning for birth, breastfeeding, and baby.

Our home visiting programs offer families access to one-on-one support and information during the vulnerable years of early parenting. The parent – child relationship is the focus of our home visiting programs; developing within parents the ability to attune and connect with their child in positive ways. For parents, this may mean learning new ways to manage their own emotions, ways to recognize their child’s cues and behaviors, and to determine the best way to meet their child’s needs. Parents are encouraged to establish their own style, incorporating healthy attachment behaviors that support security and regulation in their child.

Our First Born® program enrolls families during pregnancy or within the first two months of having a baby and continues for three years. During those years, parents not only receive weekly home visits, but also have access to group activities, parenting classes, care provider support services, and free books to encourage early literacy.

The home visitor also tracks a child’s developmental milestones with parents, offering suggestions of interactive ways to support development; such as reading to, singing to, playing with, and comforting their child during difficult emotions. After three years of parenting support, parents report feeling more confident, more connected, and more joyful about their new role, as well as a strong desire to advocate for the future education of their child.

To make a donation to support our home visiting programs, go to www.uwsfc.org/donate

¿Está planeando una fiesta de cumpleaños para su niño pequeño? Read More >>

Todos los padres quieren celebrar los cumpleaños de sus niños pequeños en grande, pero- ¿qué tan elegante debe ser una fiesta de cumpleaños para una pequeña de 3 años? La regla básica para la fiesta de cumpleaños de una niña pequeña es mantener las cosas simples. Piense en invitar el mismo número de niños que la edad de su pequeña.

A esta edad los niños pueden emocionarse de mas en sus proprias fiestas. Demasiada actividad puede convertir un evento divertido en un desastre completo. Algunas veces los padres tratan de mezclar una fiesta infantil con una fiesta o reunión para adultos. Recuerde que si lo hace usted tendrá que hacer el doble de trabajo para preparar y limpiar. Además, es difícil cuidar de niños pequeños cuando esta platicando o atendiendo a otros adultos.

Consejos para una fiesta exitosa:

  • Mantenga la comida y los juegos de la fiesta simples. Planee juegos en los que todos ganen o por lo menos reciban algún premio o regalo.
  • Los niños de tres años de edad no tienen la capacidad de entretenerse por mucho tiempo, así que planee 1 ½ hora o 2 horas de actividades organizadas. Alterne actividades en silencio (como contar cuentos) con juegos activos (como pegarle a la piñata o la papa caliente).
  • Planee alguna actividad que requiera que los niños estén sentados y tranquilos (como dibujar o un juego de adivinanzas) justo antes de servir el pastel y el helado. De este modo, los niños no estarán sobre emocionados cuando coman.
  • Los niños muchas veces no entienden que los regalos son para la cumpleañera o el cumpleañero, así que seria una buena idea tener algún permio o sorpresa pequeña envuelta para que cada niño o niña abra el suyo.  
  • Este preparado(a) para la posibilidad de que su niña se desespere o se sienta abrumada con todo lo que esta pasando. Trate de mantener su sentido de humor si su niña empieza a llorar o hace algún berrinche.

La regla básica para la fiesta de cumpleaños de una niña pequeña es mantener las cosas simples. Diviértanse ustedes y comparten un gran tiempo juntos con su familia y amigos.

Planning a birthday party for your child? Read More >>

Starting at about 3 years old, your child is old enough to enjoy having friends over for a celebration, but how fancy should the party be? The basic rule for a young child’s birthday party is keep it simple. Think about inviting the same number of children as your child’s age.

Children at this age can easily become overexcited at their own parties. Too much activity can turn a fun event into a disaster. Sometimes parents try to combine a toddler party with an adult party. Remember that gives you twice the work to prepare and clean up. It’s also hard to carefully watch toddlers when you are talking to other adults.

Tips for a successful party:

  • Keep food and party games simple. Plan games in which everyone wins or at least gets a prize.
  • Three-year old’s aren’t very skilled at entertaining themselves so plan 1 ½ to 2 hours of structured activity. Alternate quiet activities (such as story time) with active games (like balloon chase or beanbag toss).
  • Plan a quiet activity (like drawing or a guessing game) just before you serve the cake and ice cream. This way, the children aren’t overexcited when they eat.
  • Children don’t always understand that presents are meant for the birthday child, so it’s a good idea to have a small party favor wrapped for each child to open.
  • Be prepared for the possibility that your child will be overwhelmed by the whole thing. Try to keep your sense of humor if you child bursts into tears or hides in the closet.

Most of all, enjoy yourself. This is a celebration to share with your friends and family. Keep it simple!

Child’s Emotional Intelligence Important for Lifelong Success Read More >>

From CEOs, to athletes, to spiritual teachers, to entrepreneurs, it is increasingly understood that emotional intelligence is what sets champions apart from others. Learning emotional intelligence begins in childhood. Parents can begin teaching children about managing their emotions from an early age and it often starts with parents learning how to do it for themselves.

Here’s an overview of what it is. Emotional resiliency is the ability to manage feelings and cope with day to day stresses as well as major life events. This also includes the ability to recognize and accept feelings and express them in appropriate ways that do not harm others. A person’s mindset makes a difference in how they approach life. If a person is a problem solver, positive thinker, and secure in their ability to move forward, they can manage life in a way that creates resiliency, health, and thoughtful interactions with others. It is these qualities that make a person successful in learning, building relationships, and ultimately succeeding in education, work, relationships and life. Here are some tips to build emotional intelligence in children:

• Accept different emotions.

• Talk about feelings, both yours and your child’s. Be honest.

• Listen to your child without judging. Ask questions.

• Avoid saying things like, “there is nothing to worry about” or “that’s a silly thing to be afraid of” or “you’re just tired”.

• Allow your child to experience frustration. Don’t rush to rescue. Working through difficult tasks and completing them helps your child feel successful.

• Talk about ways to calm down. Manage your own emotions in a healthy way so your child has a good example of emotional resiliency.

• Encourage optimism.

Your children rely on the strength of your relationship to grow and learn.

United Way of Santa Fe County focuses on building emotional capacity in parents, caregivers, and children. Our programs develop relationship skills, communication, and secure attachment; all necessary for healthy growth and learning in young children.

El Mundo de Los Alimentos con Niños Pequeños Read More >>

¿Como es la hora de comida en tu casa? ¿Se disfruta? ¿Es frustrante? ¿Te preguntas porque tu niña pequeña se alimenta bien un día y al siguiente casi no come nada? ¿Te has preguntado porque tu hija llora cuando los chícharos tocan las papas? ¿O cuando el vaso del que toma es del color equivocado? La semana pasada a ella le encantaba la zanahoria, pero esta semana es “guácala”. ¿Sobrevivirá? ¿Sobrevivirás?

Tu hija necesita saber que tiene alguna influencia en su proprio mundo. A ella le encanta imitar lo que haces: usar una cuchara o un tenedor. Ella se siente confiada cuando puede aprender todo acerca de la hora de comer. Aplastando la comida entre sus deditos, comiendo sola. Se frustra cuando no juega un papel en su propio cuidado.

Tú también te sientes frustrada. ¿Te acuerdas de que bonito y satisfactorio era cuando ella comía todo? Te preocupas cuando ella no come lo suficiente. Te avergüenzas o te enojas cuando hace un tiradero. ¿Te acuerdas haber aprendido buenos modales de mesa cuando eras niña? ¿O cuando tenías que quedarte sentada en la mesa hasta que te comieras el brócoli? Esperas ansiosamente el día cuando la hora de comer pueda ser relajante: un deleitable evento familiar.

Así que piensa como ambos pueden conseguir lo que quieren. A tu hija ofrécele dos opciones nutritivas. Haz que la hora de comer sea relajante y deja lo demás en sus manos. Cuando ella se siente que está tomando algunas decisiones, ella comerá todo lo que necesita. Tal vez ella no comerá mucho, pero tendrá más hambre para la próxima comida. Ella apreciará que le ests dando buena comida y que confías en que ella sabrá cuando y cuanto deberá comer. Dirá: “Mírame, soy fuerte y puedo hacer las cosas sola.”

The Land of Food with Toddlers Read More >>

How is mealtime at your house? Enjoyable? Frustrating? Do you wonder why your toddler eats well one day, and the next hardly anything at all? Do you wonder why your child cries when the peas touch the potatoes? Or the cup is the wrong color? Last week she loved carrots. This week carrots are yucky. Will she survive? Will you?

Your child needs to know she has some influence on her world. She loves to copy what you do: using a spoon, a fork. She feels confident when she can learn everything about mealtime. Squishing the food with her fingers, eating all by herself. She becomes frustrated when she can’t play a part in taking care of herself.

You also feel frustrated. Do you remember how nice and satisfying it was when your baby used to eat everything? You worry when she doesn’t eat enough. You are embarrassed or angry when she makes a mess. Do you remember learning table manners as a child? Or when you had to sit at the table until you ate all the broccoli? You look forward to the day when meals can be relaxing and enjoyable for the whole family. So, think about how you can both get what you need. Offer two nutritious choices. Make meal time relaxing and leave the rest up to her.

When a child feels like she is making some decisions, she will come to eat as much as she needs. She may not eat well at every meal but will be hungrier at the next meal. She will appreciate that you are providing good food and trusting her to know when and how much to eat. She’ll say: “Look at me! I’m strong and can do things myself.”

Su Sistema de Apoyo y Disminuir el Estrés Durante el Embarazo Read More >>

Su Sistema de Apoyo – En el embarazo a veces nos sentimos solas, como si nadie entendiera lo que estamos pasando. Aquí tiene algunas ideas que pueden ayudarla:

  • Pídale a su pareja o algún familiar que venga con usted al menos a una de las visitas a su médico.
  • Traiga su pareja/ familiar a la visita de ultrasonido 
  • Haga que su pareja sienta los movimientos del bebe  
  • Deje que su pareja / familiar sea su entrenador ein el trabajo de parto  
  • Comparta información y ejercicios con su pareja y sus familiares 
  • Intercambie masajes en la espalda, especialmente en la zona lumbar
  • Salga a caminar con amigos, familiares o con su pareja
  • Elija momentos tranquilos para expresar sus sentimientos  
  • Hagan cosas juntos para alimentar la relación

Disminuir el estrés – Respiración relajante:

  • Inhale lentamente contando hasta 4. Su vientre se estirará como si inflara un globo. 
  • Exhale por la boca con un suspiro o diciendo “ahhh” mientras sale el aire. Deje que el estrés salga de su cuerpo.  
  • Concéntrese en permitir que su cuerpo entero se relaje 
  • Practique la respiración relajante

Póngase cómoda: Su vientre que crece con rapidez puede afectar sus posiciones para dormir

  • Trate de recostarse de costado (también ayuda a que la sangre fluya hacia su bebe)  
  • Intente a colocar una almohada entre sus piernas mientras abraza una almohada para tener mas apoyo 
  • Intente con una almohada “de cuerpo” (body pillow) para obtener mayor apoyo mientras está recostada

Use su sistema de apoyo y disminuir el estrés para ayudarele a sentirse mejor, física y emocionalmente.

Your Support System and Diminishing Stress During Pregnancy Read More >>

Your Support System – In pregnancy sometimes we feel alone, as if no one understands what we are going through. Here are some ideas that can help:

  • Ask your partner or family member to come with you to at least on of your doctor visits. 
  • Bring your partner/ family member to ultrasound visits
  •  Let your partner feel the baby move
  • Have your partner/ family member be your coach in labor 
  • Share information and exercises with your partner and family members
  • Exchange back rubs, with attention to your lower back
  • Go for walks with friends, family or your partner 
  • Be sensitive to your partner’s feelings 
  • Choose quiet times to express your feelings 
  • Do things together to nurture your relationship

Diminishing Stress Through Relaxation Breathing

  • Take a slow deep breath counting to four as you inhale. Your belly will expand similar to blowing up a balloon.
  • Exhale through your mouth with a sigh or say “ahh” as the air leaves you. Let the stress leave your body
  • Concentrate on letting your whole body relax
  • Practice relaxation breathing

Getting comfortable: Your growing belly may affect your sleeping positions

  •  Try lying on your side (also helps blood flow to your baby) 
  • Try placing a pillow between your legs while hugging a pillow for more support
  • Try a “body pillow” for extra support while you’re lying down

Use your support system and focused relaxation tools to help you feel better in pregnancy, both physically and mentally.

Los Padres Necesitan un Descanso Read More >>

Hay días en que nos sentimos tan bien de ser padres. Y también hay esos días en que estamos agotados, preocupados y frustrados porque lo que hemos intentado no sirve. Estamos sin energía y dudamos si podemos cuidar bien a nuestros hijos.

Trabaja arduamente para que su niña está segura y feliz, para enseñarla como llevarse bien con otros y como defenderse ella misma. ¿Pero, de donde saca la energía para cuidarse a uno mismo? Tal vez le gustaría tener a alguien con quien hablar, alguien que le escuche sin criticar. Tal vez quiere cambiar la manera en que cuida y educa a su hija. ¿Qué cosas de su niñez querrá para su niña? ¿Qué cosas no querrá repetir?

Busca a alguien que le de a usted lo que usted le ha dado a su hijo durante el día. Alguien que le escuche, que le comprende. Alguien que podrá apreciar sus esfuerzos. Tal vez tome un descanso de esta responsabilidad difícil. Al cuidarse, le dará a su hijo una madre fuerte y hábil, exactamente lo que el o ella necesita para crecer saludable en todos los aspectos.

Nuestros programas de visitas a hogares dan a los padres el apoyo, la compasión, y la educación necesarios para tener más confianza . Para mas información, llame a 505-819-5484

Parents Need a Break Read More >>

Some days you feel so good about being a parent. Then there are those days when you are exhausted, worried, frustrated because everything you’ve tried is just NOT working. Your energy is low, and you wonder how you can take care of your child’s needs.

You work so hard for your child to be safe and happy, to teach him how to get along with others, and stand up for himself. But where do you get the energy to take care of yourself, and your own needs? Maybe you want someone to talk to, someone who will truly listen, without criticism. Maybe you are wanting to change how you parent. What will you keep from your own childhood? What will you NOT want to repeat?

Find someone who will give you what you have been giving to your child all day long. Someone who will listen and understand. Someone who can appreciate your hard work. Maybe give you a break from this demanding job. Taking care of yourself in this way will give your child a strong, responsive parent, exactly what she needs to grow up healthy in all ways.

Our home visiting programs give parents the support, compassion, and education to make them feel more confident. Call 505-819-5484 for more information.