In this workshop, you’ll remind families that they are the “helping hands” that can help kids through difficult times.

  1. Encourage parents to think about all they do with their hands every day, especially things that involve their child. Remind them: “You pat their backs and squeeze their cheeks. You button and snap their clothes. You hold hands crossing the street to keep your child safe from danger. You clap your hands to encourage her or celebrate her accomplishments.”
  1. Tell parents that now they’ll use their hands to remember the most important points of helping children through troubling times. “We often use our hands to count on our fingers. In this case, we can count five specific things to remember as we help our children cope during chaotic or stressful times.”
  1. Distribute pencils and paper (one sheet per parent). Have parents trace their hands on the paper and encourage them to write one of the following words (below) on each finger and say what they think its meaning is. Guide the conversation to include the descriptions below:
  • Helping Hands: Remembering we’re not alone, there are always helpers
  • Hugs: Feeling safe and secure, comforted and reassured
  • Hearts: Appreciating the power of kindness and compassion, showing empathy
  • Hear: Talking, listening, communicating
  • Here: Keeping familiar routines and being present
  1. Ask parents to describe what each strategy might look like in action, in real life. Conclude by discussing ways parents can apply these 5 H’s to take care of themselves during troubling times as well, so that they can take better care of kids.