11/05/20: This week our family put their ears to work and practiced reflexive listening and learned to identify stressful parts of their day. With the youth participants, we had an in depth discussion about what stress or “being stressed” means. Before discussing any of the above with the participants, we asked them what they thought it meant to be stressed. Youth responses included: “getting mad”, “your head hurts”, and “freaking out”. Since they addressed many of the areas that stress affects the body, this was a perfect introduction to our discussion about managing stress. During our charades activity, we had the kids come up with something that either stresses them out or an event that has been stressful for them. This was my favorite part of our session. After a few minutes, we finally guessed the words turkey, and car – we were extremely puzzled. The family has a farm and apparently has what they call a “guard turkey”. It was in a box in the car being transported. While mom was driving, the turkey got agitated and tried to make its way across the car, startling all the passengers. The youth decided that this had definitely been their most stressful moment of the week, and I have to say, I’d agree!
Once we finished our game of charades, we brainstormed different ways to manage stress. Some of the responses were: breathing in and out, separating or going in different places, going to the beach, petting your animals, and growing plants or gardening.
Our family chose to create one of the EFNEP recipes this week for their family meal. They made the “Easy Lasagna” recipe that uses egg noodles, tomatoes, seasonings, and cheeses to create an easy, yummy meal. The family was excited about their homework for this week: spending time identifying the stressful and non-stressful parts of their day and playing board games. When we first met the family they told us that playing games was one of their favorite things to do together. We are excited to check in with them again for our next session!