Families throughout the Monadnock region are feeling extraordinary stressors these days. Residual stress from the pandemic, along with economic and personal stressors, are wearing at everyone’s resilience and mental well-being. It is more important than ever for families to develop resilience in the face of these challenges and make sure their children have positive childhood experiences.

Healthy Starts at HCS is partnering with parents during Prevention Month to encourage experiences that help children thrive, such as:

  • Playtimes that are child directed and open-ended.
  • Spending time with adults (parents or caregivers). Even just a few minutes of conversation, physical touch, or doing small activities/daily tasks together helps children feel love and a sense of belonging.
  • Having a predictable daily schedule and routines.
  • Recognizing children’s feelings and supporting them through their emotions.
  • Recognizing children’s accomplishments and praising positive achievements.
  • Having fun, playing games, reading together, and getting outside to play together.
  • Laughing and sharing moments of joy together.

Throughout the month of April, Healthy Starts will be encouraging joy by sharing pinwheels and ideas for creating positive childhood experiences at the following locations:

April 12 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Keene Public Library

April 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Sentinel Health Fair at the Best Western Hotel

April 22 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Earth Day near the Monadnock Food Coop

Adults also need social connections and information about parenting and child development.  Parenting is hard, even in the best of times, but now, more than ever, it is important to get help when it is needed. Healthy Starts and the Family Resource Center (FRC) offer resources to manage stressors and to help build stronger families for today and into the future.

FRC drop-in hours are Mondays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., and Thursdays from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Healthy Starts services are offered at no charge. For more information, call 603-352-2253. Healthy Starts services are available throughout southwestern New Hampshire.