Help us win $25,000!

From August 15th – 31st Capital Bank is running a contest to celebrate 25 years of giving! They have invited nonprofits across the Southeast to submit a 60-second video showing them how our organizations could use these funds. You can vote for Thompson every day by visiting this site. You can also check out our video below!

If our amazing “Friends” and two of our fantastic kids didn’t convince you, we thought we would break down exactly what $25,000 could do here at Thompson. For some context, $25,000 could provide…

  • Almost two and a half years of paid, professional mentoring for one of the children in our Friends of the Children program. 
  • It could pay for 338 hours of therapy
  • 56 days of Psychiatric Residential Treatment for a child

Helping us make a difference has never been easier. Be sure to #VoteThompson the next few days and share with all your family and friends!

5 Habits You Should Create with Your Children Before School Starts

Have you seen it yet? It’s there, popping up when you’re trying to watch the evening news or in the background while you pour your morning coffee. Back-To-School commercials are upon us. That can only mean one thing…school is close, but not tooo close (they always start these ads too early!)

With the countdown on, it’s a great time to start developing healthy routines and habits with your children. Especially elementary-aged kiddos! The great thing about the school year is the structure it provides for young minds. As adults, we may be bored by the predictability of our routine lives, but children have been proven to thrive on routine. It assures they are eating, sleeping, and socializing regularly, which are three keys to school success!

Children are impressionable. We may have even seen our own kids picking up on some of our own habits (the good and bad). So, it only makes sense to create these positive behaviors and habits while they’re so eager to learn and grow! With everything we know about the importance of early childhood educational objectives, here are a few things you should focus on building routines around to ensure your child has a leg up on the school year and in life!

1. Reading: Just because kids aren’t in school doesn’t mean their brains can’t stay active. It’s so important to create stimulation and challenge your child’s imagination throughout the year. Reading from an early age can give children a leg up when it comes to developing strong verbal and written skills, which goes on to predict a great deal of future success! 

Bonus tip: Weekly trips to the local library are a great, free, summer activity for all ages. Cool down between the shelves and let your little ones explore!

 

2. Healthy Snacking: The temptation to snack on junk food while the kids are home is very real. However, healthy snacking is so important for physical and mental health! Help your child get in the habit of reaching for some nutritious options versus sugary snacks with no health benefits. They’ll thank you later for helping them form these habits early.

 

 

3&4. Bedtime and Wake-up Time: Being out of school often means children are able to sleep in and ditch their early morning scramble to catch the bus. But maintaining a regular bedtime is going to keep your child’s internal clock in check and ensure that they get the amount of sleep they need to stay healthy. Just as important is making sure your child doesn’t sleep the day away. Sticking to a “lights on” rule every morning might not be their favorite, but it’s to their benefit. Spending the day asleep and the night awake is harmful to a child’s cognitive development, and it’ll make getting into the school-year routine that much harder. Children need structure, and maintaining the same habits throughout the year will mean they will always stay on track!

 

5. Cleaning Up: It’s great that summer can allow children to play all day. After all, play time is just as important in a child’s life as the rest of their schooling. However, it’s important that kids continue to be held accountable for picking up their toys, making their beds, and cleaning up after themselves. If we let these rules slide during the summer how can we expect children to do this the rest of the year? Fostering that appreciation for their home and their items will help your child understand the value of respect.

 

The main takeaway? Children are SMART, and they are in a very formative time in their lives. It’s important to give them the proper tools that will set them up to be kind, intelligent, and self-sufficient young adults!

Looking out for your mental health in the summer

July is here and before you know it the dog days of summer will be here too. With kids out of school, it may seem like you’re struggling to find a minute to yourself to breathe. The summer is typically known as a time to kick back and relax, but perhaps you’re feeling the exact opposite of zen.

Looking out for your mental health in the summer is just as important as any other time of the year. Here are a few tips to help you harness that sunshine and use it to fuel your depleted mental energy!

5 Easy Tips to take care of your mental health this summer

  1. Excercise– Excercise is one of the best ways to boost those natural chemicals in your brain that elevate your mood. During the other months of the year, we’re often forced into the gym to get our sweat on and, let’s face it, the gym is NOT for everybody. Take advantage of the perfect evening weather with a post-dinner time walk around the block. Even that small amount of activity and fresh air can do wonders for a busy brain!
    1. Bonus tip: Leave your headphones at home! There are immense sensory benefits to allowing all your senses to enjoy the outdoors, including hearing! Fill your brain with chirping birds and save the tunes for a car ride.
  2. Use Your Vacation Time– There are tons of travel deals floating around in the summer months. Cash in some PTO and take a long weekend. Set an intention to use that time to indulge in a little self-care. Read a book, take a long lunch, meet up with friends. You’ll be surprised what investing in yourself can do for your mental health.
  3. Take a Social Media Break– Social media is really just a highlight reel. And sitting down and scrolling through other people’s amazing beach and vacation photos can really drag you down. But comparing yourself to other people all the time is incredibly unhealthy. Take a week, or if you’re adventurous enough, maybe a month, and just delete the apps from your phone. A little mindfulness goes a long way.
  4. Let in the Sunshine– Sunshine has tremendous impacts on your mental health. Beyond even just getting Vitamin D (which is important in moderation). Open up the shades, and let in the light. Allowing light into your home, office, and living areas can be a simple step to boost your mood.
  5. Keep it Cool– Getting a good night’s sleep is an easy way to set you up to be in your best head space. The optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Farenheight. Your AC is already cranked in the summer months, so make sure it’s set especially cool during the evening when it might be tempting to sleep with the windows open.

2018 Charlotte Summer Camp Guide

Here in the Queen City, the saying goes “Charlotte’s got a lot”. I would argue we’ve got so much that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with. That’s why we’re grateful that our friends over at Charlotte Parent put together a guide to 2018’s Charlotte Summer Camps. If you’re still looking your search ends here!