Adverse Childhood Experiences: Can We Make a Difference?

We have learned a lot in recent years about the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on individual people and the community as a whole.  You can access valuable information here about what ACEs are and how Tennessee educators, caregivers, medical professionals, social workers and mental healthcare providers are working together with families to better understand the effects of ACEs on brain development and reverse negative effects on children. 

https://www.tn.gov/dcs/program-areas/child-health/aces.html

The information can be overwhelming and Baby University wants to be a partner in walking with families as they sort through the facts.  Adverse experiences, such as poverty, trauma & chronic stress,  due to hunger, violence and other situations , do have negative effects on children's brain development, make no mistake.  However, parents can take control of reversing those effects in their children's lives and we are researching ways to enable families and arm them with the best strategies.  

The City of Boston, MA has created a specific plan to empower parents through a program called THE BASICS.  Every organization in the community has come together to share the same evidence-based strategies that any parent, grandparent or caregiver can use with children to counteract the effects of ACEs. The BASICS are the following:  1. Maximize Love, Manage Stress  2. Talk, Sing & Point  3. Count, Group & Compare  4. Explore through Movement & Play  5. Read & Discuss Stories. The City of Boston's campaign to reach all families with the BASICS message include instructional videos and local discussion groups to share the most effective ways to use these strategies in the home and community.

Baby University will be exploring ways to share this valuable information with our community over the next year.  Look for ways to share the message with us!

Mission: Motherhood

Big companies and important organizations live by their mission statements.  So it would make sense that families, and specifically parents of children, would want to create a mission statement to guide those day-to-day decisions we make in light of the BIG PICTURE of raising our children well.  This month at Baby University we'll discuss why and how to create mission statements for ourselves and how to use them to to care for our families with a purpose.  Join us for our first class of this new semester at Baby University!

Imagination Library and Tips for Families

What could be better than receiving a free children's book each month through the Imagination Library program?  Finding out free and fun ways to interact with those books and make reading a shared family activity!  This month at Baby University we have the opportunity to hear from a library specialist who will show us activities designed to go along with Imagination Library books. She will also connect us with the many resources available to us from the public library.  

Additionally, we will  hear from an early intervention therapist, sharing tips that all parents can do at home to help their babies and toddlers meet those important developmental milestones. 

It will be a good day to share and learn together from these experts and each other... and to encourage one another and build each other up in the job of being moms!  Join us!

It's (almost) Spring at Baby University!

We are excited to have kicked off our Spring 2016 Semester of Baby University! But it's not too late for you to join us.  Check out the Spring schedule and make plans to join in.  This semester we'll be hearing from both the experts and real moms on discipline, educational activities, and health and nutrition.  We'll have discussions, crafts and a Bible study and prayer time at each meeting, along with childcare and food provided.  Don't spend this winter parenting alone!  Come meet new friends and share in the ups and downs of this journey with other moms who understand.  We're looking forward to meeting you!