reading with kids

How to Talk with Kids About Traumatic Events

reading with kids

We understand parents are worried about the mental wellbeing of their family. In these trying times, it’s especially important for children to feel seen, supported and heard. 

As our kids grapple with feelings of confusion and big questions, they need us now more than ever. To help you have difficult conversations, we’re sharing tips from youth development professionals at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

  1. Process your own emotions. Label your own emotions and use self-care strategies – kids will look to you as role models for how to cope with their emotions.
  2. Listen to your child(ren). Allow them to speak freely about their feelings without interruptions or interjections. This creates trust for healthy dialog.
  3. Set up options and provide clear directions for managing overwhelming emotional responses. These options could include permission to leave the room or just having a period of silence for processing or support.
  4. Validate and de-escalate emotions when possible, but also realize that some children, especially those who have experienced complex trauma, often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions.
  5. Check in with your child periodically throughout the day, to ensure that they are managing emotional experiences in a healthy manner and that they continue to feel safe.
  6. As a parent or caregiver, remember you don’t have all the answers. That’s okay. Learn to say “I don’t know” or invite others to share their own answers instead.
  7. Be authentic and respectful. It is natural to worry whether you are saying “the right thing.” However, respectful authenticity is often more important because the chief contributor to a psychologically safe environment/ home is learning to have honest conversations in healthy and constructive ways.
  8. Seek help if you still don’t feel comfortable with having the discussion with your child. Ask for help from another family member, friend, or professional to provide emotional support & guidance.
  9. Offer a variety of ways for your child(ren) to deal with their emotions in productive, constructive, and meaningful ways. Consider devoting time to physical activities, art, music, and/or quiet time following your discussions.
  10. Look for solutions. Kids are action-oriented – ask, “What can we do to create positive change in our community?” and support them in starting a meaningful project or campaign

Thank you to the Boys and Girls Club for sharing these important tips! We encourage you to share these best practices with your friends and loved ones. Together, as a community and a nation, we can find a path forward where children have a voice in creating the positive change every person deserves.

For more parent resources from the Boys and Girls Club, visit https://www.bgca.org/news-stories/

hiking with baby

Summer 2020: How To Make The Most Of It

hiking with baby

 

Your calendar is probably peppered with canceled vacations, shuttered pools and closed playgrounds. However, summer is not completely canceled! This time of year is meant to be spent with friends and loved ones, both relaxing and having fun. We’ve rounded up the best ways to make the most of it to help combat boredom and keep your spirits lifted. 

 

Find the most beautiful place within 100 miles and go there. Each state has a wealth of natural beauty to explore just a short car ride away. To find a state or national park near you, visit The US National Park Service’s website.  

 

Send kids to virtual camp. Summer camp canceled? Many traditional camps have shifted online, which allows kids to stay engaged and busy – especially helpful for working parents. Parade magazine recently rounded up over 45 options for your consideration

 

Camp out in your own backyard. Just because travel is limited this summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t imitate experiences at home. Pitch a tent in the backyard for a few nights, and build a campfire if your city allows it.

 

Make it a s’mores night! Chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows are a perfect combination for delicious summertime fun, and you don’t even need a fire pit.

 

Play flashlight tag. Play a few rounds of nighttime tag with your family or “quaranteam” in the backyard or in the neighborhood. If the other side’s flashlight “tags” you, you’re out. The darkness makes it all the more thrilling.

 

Go to the drive-in. If you have a drive-in in your town, head there with your own buttered popcorn and Raisinets. What’s old is cool again, as it seems that outdoor movie theatres are making a comeback during COVID-19.

 

Broaden your worldview. Read your kids age-appropriate books about cultures different from your family’s culture. Since people are isolating more, educators are encouraging us to read books that help keep our minds open and spur mental exploration. Visit Jambo Books for some family-friendly ideas.

 

Family reading time. Grab a cup of cocoa, a snuggly blanket and read one chapter from a classic book out loud every night together. Some books and poetry were meant to be not only read, but heard. Think Shakespeare’s monologues or Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches.

 

Plan a photo shoot. Choose a theme, select a location and get creative with props, costumes or a theme. Use a Polaroid camera to capture meaningful moments that will last for years to come.

 

Create a paint party. Arrange a family painting session with supplies, snacks and your favorite music playlist. Choose a painting to replicate, and learn about one another’s artistic styles.

 

Create a chalk obstacle course. There have been many fun movements for communities to come together in a safe, socially distanced way. Creating a chalk obstacle course on your sidewalk or driveway is a simple way to spread some joy in your corner of the world. 

 

Put on a concert together. Since hearing your favorite performer live in a large arena is risky at the moment, why not create a sing along with your pack. The Sing King channel on YouTube has karaoke song options for everyone!

 

Plan household gatherings. Hold weekly family meetings to see how everyone’s doing right now. Make it a safe space so people can share their thoughts and concerns without judgment. Use this as a time to practice healthy communication.

 

 

Colgate Mattress Wins Big in 65th Anniversary Year

happy baby winner

Photo Credit: Marla Cyree at Simply Splendid

In 2020, Colgate Mattress ™️ is celebrating its 65th Anniversary as a third-generation, family owned and operated company. We proudly handcraft the highest quality crib mattresses that our own kids, grandkids and great-grandkids have slept on. During this milestone year, we’re thrilled to have already received three major industry awards. 

2020 Cribsie Awards

Colgate Mattress’ Goodnight Owl Crib Mattress won an Academy Star in the 2020 Cribsie Awards for New Arrivals. Under the cute print of Colgate’s Goodnight Owl Crib Mattress is dual-firmness, breathable, eco-friendly comfort that both parent and baby will love. Soft fabric next to the baby’s skin is lined with a waterproof backing that lets nothing get inside. We scored amongst the highest ratings in the categories of Innovation, Design and Utility!

Founded in 2010, the Cribsie Awards recognize the best products, services, and websites for babies and tots. The Cribsies offer a secure voting platform that limits users to one unique vote per email address, meaning the Cribsies are a true, untainted measure of the public’s opinion on the top parenting brands. With hundreds of thousands of votes cast and a reach in the millions, the Cribsies have become the definitive awards for parents.

 

2020 “Twinnie” Award Winner

Colgate Mattress also received the 2020 Twinnie Award from Twiniversity! In the second annual awards, twin parents nominated their favorite baby, kid and personal products they have used and loved, with the products receiving the most mentions taking home the top prize. The 2020 Twinnie Award winners list includes everything a twin parent could need for babies, growing toddlers, and for mom and dad too. 

Twinnie Best Crib Mattress Winner: The Colgate Eco Classica III is an expertly engineered dual-firmness crib mattress, packed with 6” of Colgate’s proprietary EcoFoam™️ an eco-friendlier foam made with plant-based oils. The extra firm side is engineered to provide the firmness infants need for proper support and development, while the less firm side provides – when the time comes — the comfort toddlers prefer. This is all wrapped snugly inside an ultra-soft certified organic cotton cover, which is waterproof-backed to ensure the mattress stays dry while the baby’s skin remains closest to organic cotton. The Eco Classica III is designed to last throughout the infant and toddler years.

2020 Baby & Childrens Product News Readers Favorite

Colgate Mattress also received the 2020 Baby & Children’s Product News Readers Favorite Award! For over 17 years, Baby & Children’s Product News has been the #1 juvenile product industry’s trade publication, connecting store buyers with product manufacturers. Each year, magazine readers are asked to name their favorite sources for a variety of baby products ranging from apparel to cribs and from baby baths to mattresses. They select their favorites based on their own experience and knowledge, instead of from a provided list. This award is especially humbling because the vote of confidence came from our amazing retail partners who know crib mattresses inside and out! 

From Our Family To Yours for 65 Years

We care deeply about the safety of your baby and stand behind every product we make. That’s just how we do business. Thank you for continuing to support our mission! We look forward to serving our parent community for years to come. Click here to view our full list of past awards and recognitions. 

 

 

 

gender reveal

10 Creative Ways to Do a Gender Reveal During COVID-19

From the moment you start sharing your pregnancy news, the first question you probably get from everyone is “Are you having a boy or a girl?” In recent years, a popular way for expecting parents to reveal the gender of their new addition has been by hosting a gender reveal party with family and friends.

However, with social distancing practices still in effect due to the coronavirus pandemic, parents-to-be are having to get creative with how they share the news. But luckily, you can still have an exciting gender reveal party with your closest friends and family by inviting them to join the reveal remotely, thanks to Facebook Live, IGTV, Zoom or Google Hangouts.

If you find yourself stuck on how to reveal your baby’s gender to friends and family, then keep reading for creative gender reveal ideas for all types.

Bath Bomb Reveal

Either make your own gender reveal bath bomb or buy one online. When the time comes, fill a plastic container or your tub with water, and drop the bath bomb in, letting it reveal if it’s a boy or a girl. Guests can watch live as the bath bomb fizzles!

Water Balloon Fight

Host a virtual gender reveal party where you and your partner have a water balloon fight while the rest of your family and friends get to watch! Lay 10 water balloons out in a row and let your guests vote on which one to throw next. Have one filled with either pink or blue colored water so that, when it breaks, the gender is revealed!

Sing It, Baby!

Make a specific playlist filled with songs with titles like “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” or “I’m Just A Girl”. Send it out to family and friends as a musical way to share the news.

Blowing Bubbles

Each expectant parent blows a bubble with either pink or blue bubblegum. Then, the parent with the incorrect gum color has their bubble popped during a virtual session!

Sibling Love

Make a custom shirt for your baby’s older sibling in either blue or pink and snap a family picture to post on social media. Cute messages like “I’m the Oldest!” are always a winner.

Booties Reveal

Another good way to tell your loved ones is to buy or make a set of crocheted booties in blue or pink. Then, ship them out and wait for the delighted phone calls!

Cake Pop Reveal

Make cake pops with white cake inside, colored blue or pink depending on your baby’s gender. Get your video camera going as you feed one another a cake pop and reveal the color inside to everyone watching! We also love the cakes that explode with a colorful candy treat. 

Gumball Guessing Game

Mail your tribe a bag of gumballs filled with an equal number of blue and pink gumballs. Add one extra gumball to the bag that’s either pink or blue, depending on your baby’s gender. Have everyone look at the bags and try to guess the gender before they dump them out and quickly count the gumballs during your virtual party for the big reveal.

Dress Up the Pup

If you’re already a parent to a fur baby, feature your pet in the big reveal video by dressing them up in a special t-shirt, collar or accessory and then calling them into the room with you while you’re streaming with family and friends!

Blacklight Reveal

Write the gender in blacklight markers on a white poster board. When everyone has joined your virtual gender reveal party, flip off the lights and turn on your blacklight flashlight for the grand reveal.

 

kids helping during covid

Simple Ways to Care for Each Other

kids helping during covid

Self-isolating is a new thing for most of us, but all this distance from one another doesn’t mean we can’t still work to keep our community connections strong. Whether you have time, money or even just a phone, there are big and small ways that you and your children can help others.

Help Your Community

  • Only buy what you need, so everyone in your community can get what they need.
  • Give to your local food bank. They all need help and contributions, especially those in communities hardest hit by COVID-19.
  • Give blood. According to the American Red Cross, there is an urgent need for blood due to the coronavirus outbreak. Find a blood drive near you.

Help Families  

  • Shop or run errands for quarantined parents who need to stay home or can’t take their kids out in public areas.
  • If your employer allows you to “gift” your sick time, donate some to a coworker who needs to be off to care for themselves or family.
  • If you’re a parent who’s home with your kids, consider doing a virtual story hour, featuring celebrities reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Each celebrity-read story can keep several kids entertained at a time!

Help Small Businesses

  • Shop locally wherever you can.
  • Buy gift certificates now for your favorite local restaurants and use them later.
  • For local cafes, book shops and other small businesses with online shops, give them your business online.

Check on Elderly Neighbors

  • Although necessary, social isolation for seniors can be lonely. Text, phone call and email them, especially if they live alone. Send them funny memes or GIFs to cheer them up. Don’t forget about them and make sure they have social support. 
  • Offer to pick up and deliver their shopping, treats or other things they might need, while taking precautions to keep yourself safe. Your time and efforts could be a big help to someone needing support.
  • Have the kids draw pictures and write letters to local seniors in nursing homes who can’t have visitors at this time.

Share Positive News and Acts of Kindness 

  • There are so many examples out there of people helping one another. Share those stories on social media. Talk about those with your friends and family. 
  • Spread the word about how you or your family is making a difference to inspire new acts of kindness within your community. 
  • Share with each other Tips for Managing Parenthood Overload During Stressful Times.
shepherd center mask donation

Colgate Mattress Shifts Gears to Make Masks During COVID-19 Pandemic

shepherd center mask donation

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta-based Colgate Mattress™️ has shifted the focus of a portion of its factory employees from handcrafting crib mattresses to creating masks, which will be donated to Shepherd Center. These masks are a collaborative effort across the company, from hospital outreach to mask design to sewing and manufacturing. Together, the Colgate family is aiming to donate about 3,000 masks by mid-April. 

“When COVID-19 began impacting our community, we knew we had to help,” said Colgate Mattress Vice President Richard Wolkin. “As a manufacturing facility, we have the unique ability to repurpose some of our supplies for our healthcare workers. We have worked tirelessly to manufacture a mask that can be utilized to better protect our healthcare providers.” 

Colgate Mattress™️, the nation’s oldest family-owned manufacturer of crib mattresses and accessories, is committed to supporting its local Atlanta community during the recent coronavirus pandemic. In response to the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, Colgate is taking actionable steps to manufacture necessary masks at scale. Shepherd Center, also an Atlanta mainstay, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. 

Over the course of three days, Colgate Mattress developed a mask prototype in conjunction with Shepherd Center and accelerated manufacturing efforts to produce about 500 masks per day. The company is committed to continuing its mask development to aid the local healthcare system and to help fill the shortage of PPE for local medical personnel and first responders. 

“We’re grateful for and inspired by local businesses such as Colgate who have pivoted on their own business model to help organizations get the equipment they need,” said Sarah Morrison, PT, MBA, MHA, president and CEO of Shepherd Center. “We know that many organizations are experiencing shortages of PPE, and we’re grateful to Colgate for committing to keeping our patients and staff safe. Community support is always vital, but even moreso during this challenging time.”

Colgate Mattress also continues to manufacture and provide parents with high-quality crib mattresses and accessories. The company has been an industry pioneer, being the first to manufacture polyurethane mattresses, foam crib mattresses and dual-firmness mattresses from its home base in Atlanta, Georgia. 

“We’ve been a part of the Atlanta community for 65 years,” Wolkin said. “Through our mask-making efforts, we’re honored to give back to the community that has given us so much in a small way. “

For more information about Colgate Mattress, visit ColgateKids.com.

 

stressed parents working with baby

5 Tips for Managing Parenthood Overload During Stressful Times

stressed parents trying to work with baby

When daycares and schools close, the mental load of parenthood increases. If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, like millions of other parents out there, this one’s for you. Here are 5 tips for managing parenthood during this stressful time.

Stay home, and stay connected 

Social distancing and “shelter in place” mandates may require us to stay in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely isolate. It’s important to stay in communication with family, friends and neighbors, as well as find ways to keep calm. Use the phone, text, video chat and email – all means possible – to stay connected to people who matter to you. Especially those who can help provide a sense of calm.

Ask for help

Now is the time to turn toward each other. We are here to help each other out, so avoid being a do-it-yourselfer when you’re not qualified. Reach out to a clear-thinking person to ask what she thinks or what he would do about stockpiling food, taking that road trip, talking to little Suzi about what’s going on with grandpa in the hospital. You may choose not to follow their advice, but it’s always helpful to have another perspective.

Don’t procrastinate about preparing

Anxiety can mount if we postpone or ignore expert counsel. Inaction will make fear grow. If you haven’t done your best to get a couple of extra weeks’ supply of food or medication, do it today. If you feel frozen, ask a buddy to push you to act and help you make wise decisions about how much you need of what.  

Remember to self-care

Now, more than ever, self-care is essential. Slow down, engage in healthy practices and try to continue regular routines that bring comfort and stability. Conversation, exercise and spiritual practices are good starting points. And don’t forget about the healing impacts of making art, singing, journaling and being useful to others. Make a point to find a little peace of mind, even if you start with just one thing.

Place your baby (safely) to sleep, so you can recharge

While your little one sleeps, you will have a little time to refuel your mothering self. Take a hot shower, watch the latest episode of her favorite TV show, or even take an online yoga class. 

Colgate Mattress offers the following advice for baby’s safe sleep:

  • Your baby should sleep on a firm mattress covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
  • Use a wearable blanket or other type sleeper, instead of  blankets, to keep your baby warm and safe during sleep.
  • Crib bumpers, wedges and positioners should never be used in your baby’s sleep area.
  • Do not place any other items in the crib.
  • Always place your baby on his or her back for sleep.

A note from your friends at Colgate Mattress. Do not let fear stop you from acting with clarity, compassion and courage. Unfortunate things happen, but it is still possible to move forward with love and hope.

baby hand washing coronavirus cover-19

Coronavirus – What’s Your Family’s Next Step?

baby hand washing coronavirus cover-19

We know people are worried about the wellness of their family. It’s hard to escape talk of Coronavirus right now. It’s in the news, on TV and in your face when your local store sells out of things like disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer.

As a part of our public service response to COVID-19, we’re sharing the American Academy of Pediatrics’ tips on how to keep your family healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Look for one that is 60% or higher alcohol-based.
  • Keep your kids away from others who are sick or keep them home if they are ill.
  • Teach kids to cough and sneeze into a tissue (make sure to throw it away after each use!) or to cough and sneeze into their arm or elbow, not their hands.
  • Clean and disinfect your home as usual using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
  • Avoid touching your face; teach your children to do the same.
  • Avoid travel to highly infected areas.

The potential for disruption to daily life is high, but the CDC still says the risk is low and the recommendations for keeping kids safe from coronavirus are just the same as they are during the typical cold and flu season.

To get the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics parenting website, HealthyChildren.org.

Colgate Mattress Receives JPMA Certification for Safety

 

Colgate Mattress®, the nation’s oldest family-owned manufacturer of crib mattresses and accessories, is now certified with the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association (JPMA). Colgate Mattress is the first participant ever welcomed into the JPMA Certification Program in the Full-Size Crib Mattress program.

For over 40 years, JPMA has helped parents feel confident in choosing safe products for their baby. The JPMA Certification Seal signifies a product meets the strictest safety standards in today’s marketplace. To become certified, each product is rigorously tested at an independent laboratory.

As a founding member of JPMA, we’re proud to be recognized alongside other industry leaders in safety that have attained JPMA Certification,” said Dennis Wolkin, Chief Operating Officer. “Since 1955, we’ve set out to provide new moms with the very best quality and safest crib mattresses made in the U.S.” 

While all baby products sold in the U.S. must meet minimum government regulations, only JPMA Certified Products can claim to meet or exceed federal, state, local and national retailer safety requirements as well as a voluntary ASTM International standard created by the industry.  The main purpose of JPMA Certification for consumers is to remove the safety-related guess work from the buying decision and to encourage parents to look for the JPMA Certification Seal as a symbol of quality, safety, performance and functionality.

In keeping safety first, Colgate Mattress products are engineered to provide the ideal firmness for baby’s sleep environment and promote the most peaceful rest possible. Plus, all Colgate Mattress products are hypoallergenic, odorless and GREENGUARD® Gold & CertiPUR-US® certified safe for no harmful emissions. 

For more information, visit https://colgatekids.com/pages/safety-development.

 

mom valentine gift

What Moms Really Need for Valentine’s Day

mom valentine gift

 

When you have a baby, Valentine’s Day often turns into a completely different holiday. You used to celebrate by getting dressed up, going out to a nice dinner and laughing over a bottle of wine. Sometimes, you’d even get surprise flowers. 

Now, with a new, cooing family member, life has changed and the way you celebrate should too. A fancy dinner out just isn’t as easy to arrange anymore, plus babysitters are expensive and scarce on Valentine’s Day. 

So why not use this holiday as the perfect excuse to treat you to some self-love? Take some time to step away from work, cleaning, and cooking. Tend to your health – both mental and physical. Do something that truly feeds your soul, because you deserve it.

Here are a few self-care ideas to help you make the most of your self-love day:

Journal for 20 minutes. Write in a free-flowing stream-of-consciousness style. Notice feelings that are just under the surface.

Put on your favorite playlist and have a dance party. Or a crying session. Whichever works best for you at that moment.

Take time to intentionally fill your cup. Read your devotional uninterrupted, call someone you love or make yourself a nice drink like chamomile tea or hot chocolate and sip it slowly.

Schedule at least one uninterrupted hour with a close friend. Go out for coffee or a drink, go out for dinner or go for a walk together.

Make a cozy spot. Create a space or corner in your home just for you and fill it with your favorite things.

Do a short meditation. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, focus on your breath, and say, “All sounds return to the breath, all thoughts return to the breath, all distractions return to the breath.”

Do something you’re going to savor. Taking a shower, doing your nails, walking, or reading a celebrity magazine. “Savor” it instead of just “doing” it.

Delegate two things that you hate doing. Hire a professional cleaner, send off the laundry or order a nice dinner in.

Go somewhere local that you’ve never been before. Explore a new forest preserve, a new park, a new beach, a different library or a conservatory.

Go on a social media kindness spree. Use 20 minutes to post nice comments on people’s social media or through messenger.

Do a social media cleanse. Unfollow those who don’t inspire you or who bring you down.

Buy your favorite flowers. Put them all over the house in vases or pitchers and pause long enough to enjoy them all week.