Grand Rapids, Mich. (WOTV) - It's going to be my first official Mother's Day and I keep telling my husband, I don't need a gift I just want to spend the day with you and our baby boy. I think most mom's feel that way. Recently my friends at the non-profit organization, Family Futures , sent me a cute note about Mother's Day and again it reminded me that creative gifts are the best, especially those that keep on giving. So read on to find out about how to give (or get) the gift of "peace of mind" this Mother's Day.
It's something that unites all mothers. They all want to know if they're doing the right things to make sure their children are healthy, growing the way they should. The never-ending Google searches and sometimes conflicting advice from friends and family often fall short of providing the comfort moms seek. (Thank goodness for the baby section of wotv4women.com wink wink). That's why the gift of Connections will benefit Mom long after those daisies have wilted. Connections is a free service from Family Futures that helps parents with children ages 0-5 track their children's development and connect with resources in the community. Not only is Family Futures a trusted and reputable source for parent education and support, but the program is customized for each child.
I personally participate in this program and it's so quick and easy, it only takes 10 minutes! Here's how it works. It starts with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). ASQs are surveys sent to parents either by mail or online, depending on the parents' preference, every few months. The surveys use playtime to learn about where the child is in his or her development. ASQs include age-appropriate questions and activities, like stacking blocks or touching toes, and parents can complete the surveys in 10-15 minutes.
The ASQs are sent back to Family Futures for review by our team. For each ASQ completed, the child
receives personalized scores and feedback. Little Easton could be excelling in gross motor skills, or score normal in problem solving, or he might need attention with communication. The results are sent back to the
family along with other helpful information, activities and local events for the current developmental stage.
If Easton's starting to throw his food at the wall when he's eating, the information lets me know to
expect such acts at this age — he's just learning about cause and effect. Whew! Relief! In the case of low scores needing attention, or anytime a parent has a concern they want to talk about, a parent coach follows up with a phone call to the parent. The call can be anything from simple words of reassurance to a discussion of area speech therapists and what might be best when there is potential developmental delay. The parent coaches are connected to help, to information and to organizations that families need.
The service is available to any Kent County parent with a child age 0-5, and sign-up is easy through
the Family Futures website (www.familyfutures.net) . Sharing the program with a mom and helping her sign
up is giving her a Mother's Day gift that will help her get the peace of mind she needs — beyond the one
day of recognition.
I hope you all have a lovely Mother's Day! -Carly
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Maranda and her partners joined together for a special holiday celebration at Meijer for foster & refugee families with Bethany Christian Services. WOTV 4 Women along with Bethany Christian Services, Craig's Cruisers, Meijer, Fifth-Third Bank & Priority Health & other partners spent the night meeting these special families during a taping of Maranda Where You Live. The night was filled with food, entertainment and shopping with these special families.