Can you believe the summer season is just about over? I sure can’t! It seems like it was just a short time ago that the kids were looking with anticipation toward the last day of school. Each of them looking forward to 10 weeks of rest, relaxation, vacations, camps and other fun.

With the school year quickly approaching, we are entering a time of change for families and children… and change is hard. Learning how to cope with transition and change is a vital component of a child’s (and adult’s) healthy development. With that outcome in mind, here are some things you can do to help:

  • Acknowledge your feelings (and your children’s feelings) – These feelings can be positive or negative, but rather than deny or ignore the emotions associated with change, allow yourself and your children to experience them and deal with them appropriately.
  • Take care of yourself and your kids – The healthier you all are, the more capable you will be of handling the emotional, mental and physical challenges associated with change. Exercise (the Y can help with that), eat right and get proper amounts of rest.
  • Hold on to the constants in your life – Not everything is changing, so make sure that you remember and acknowledge the things that are staying consistent.
  • Communicate – Discuss your feelings and thoughts with your spouse and children. By giving each other a chance to share honestly, you create a safe environment for dealing with the changes. Remember, you are on the same team, so work together.
  • Brainstorm the positives – Take a couple of minutes to discuss the things you are most looking forward to in the change.

I hope these tips are helpful and provide some encouragement to you and your family as the new school year gets underway.
I would also like to draw attention to our teachers and schools. As they prepare for another school year, they are always in need of supplies to be at their very best.

This is why the YMCA is collaborating with our local schools and holding a supply drive through the end of August.

If you feel compelled to give back to your community in this way, please drop off school supplies to the front desk at the Y and we will make sure to get them to the teachers and schools that need them most.

Finally, in an effort to be the best YMCA possible, we are conducting member surveys through Aug. 16. If you receive an email from SEER Analytics, an independent survey firm, please take the time to fill it out. You will help us identify areas of opportunity and improvement so we can better meet the Flagstaff community’s needs.

As a member of the Y, you are part of the nation’s largest social service nonprofit organization and engaged in a cause to strengthen our community. The Y is for Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility and strives every day to transform lives.

Thank you for your membership. If there is anything I can do to help make your experience with the Y better, please stop by my office, email or call me anytime.

Sincerely,

Chris Aungst
Flagstaff Family YMCA
Executive Director